Novel mechanisms for PKC family enzymes to regulate PI3K signaling pathway

Muling Mao, The University of Texas Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences at Houston


Phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K) generates membrane phospholipids that serve as second messengers to recruit signaling proteins to plasma membrane consequently regulating cell growth and survival. PI3K is a heterodimer consisting of a catalytic p110 subunit and a regulatory p85 subunit. Association of the p85 with other signal proteins is critical for induced PI3K activation. Activated PI3K, in turn, leads to signal flows through a variety of PI3K effectors including PDK1, AKT, GSK3, BAD, p70 S6K and NFκB. The PI3K pathway is under regulation by multiple signal proteins representing cross-talk between different signaling cascades. In this study, we have evaluated the role of protein kinase C family kinases on signaling through PI3K at multiple levels. Firstly, we observed that the action of PKC specific inhibitors like Ro-31-8220 and GF109203X was associated with an increased AKT phosphorylation and activity, suggesting that PKC kinases might play a negative role in the regulation of PI3K pathway. Then, we demonstrated the stimulation of AKT by PKC inhibition was dependent on functional PI3K enzyme and able to be transmitted to the AKT effector p70 S6K. Furthermore, we showed an inducible physical association between the PKCζ isotype and AKT, which was accompanied by an attenuated AKT activity. However, a kinase-dead form of PKC failed to affect AKT. In the second part of our research we revealed the ability of a different PKC family member, PKCδ to bind to the p85 subunit of PI3K in response to oxidative stress, a process requiring the activity of src tyrosine kinases. The interaction was demonstrated to be a direct and specific contact between the carboxyl terminal SH2 domain of p85 and tyrosine phosphorylated PKCδ. Several different types of agonists were capable to induce this association including tyrosine kinases and phorbol esters with PKCδ tyrosine phosphorylation being integral components. Finally, the PKCδ-PI3K complex was related to a reduction in the AKT phosphorylation induced by src. A kinase-deficient mutant of PKCδ was equally able to inhibit AKT signal as the wild type, indicative of a process independent of PKCδ catalytic activity. Altogether, our data illustrate different PKC isoforms regulating PI3K pathway at multiple levels, suggesting a mechanism to control signal flows through PI3K for normal cell activities. Although further investigation is required for full understanding of the regulatory mechanism, we propose that complex formation of signal proteins in PI3K pathway and specific PKC isoforms plays important role in their functional linkage.

Subject Area

Molecular biology|Cellular biology

Recommended Citation

Mao, Muling, "Novel mechanisms for PKC family enzymes to regulate PI3K signaling pathway" (2002). Texas Medical Center Dissertations (via ProQuest). AAI3046063.