Background: Bad is a proapoptotic member of the Bcl-2 family that promotes cell death by displacing Bax from binding to Bcl-2 and Bcl-xL (1,2). Survival factors, such as IL-3, inhibit the apoptotic activity of Bad by activating intracellular signaling pathways that result in the phosphorylation of Bad at Ser112 and Ser136 (2). Phosphorylation at these sites promotes binding of Bad to 14-3-3 proteins to prevent an association between Bad with Bcl-2 and Bcl-xL (2). Akt phosphorylates Bad at Ser136 to promote cell survival (3,4). Bad is phosphorylated at Ser112 both in vivo and in vitro by p90RSK (5,6) and mitochondria-anchored PKA (7). Phosphorylation at Ser155 in the BH3 domain by PKA plays a critical role in blocking the dimerization of Bad and Bcl-xL (8-10).
Background: p70 S6 kinase is a mitogen activated Ser/Thr protein kinase that is required for cell growth and G1 cell cycle progression (1,2). p70 S6 kinase phosphorylates the S6 protein of the 40S ribosomal subunit and is involved in translational control of 5' oligopyrimidine tract mRNAs (1). A second isoform, p85 S6 kinase, is derived from the same gene and is identical to p70 S6 kinase except for 23 extra residues at the amino terminus, which encode a nuclear localizing signal (1). Both isoforms lie on a mitogen activated signaling pathway downstream of phosphoinositide-3 kinase (PI-3K) and the target of rapamycin, FRAP/mTOR, a pathway distinct from the Ras/MAP kinase cascade (1). The activity of p70 S6 kinase is controlled by multiple phosphorylation events located within the catalytic, linker and pseudosubstrate domains (1). Phosphorylation of Thr229 in the catalytic domain and Thr389 in the linker domain are most critical for kinase function (1). Phosphorylation of Thr389, however, most closely correlates with p70 kinase activity in vivo (3). Prior phosphorylation of Thr389 is required for the action of phosphoinositide 3-dependent protein kinase 1 (PDK1) on Thr229 (4,5). Phosphorylation of this site is stimulated by growth factors such as insulin, EGF and FGF, as well as by serum and some G-protein-coupled receptor ligands, and is blocked by wortmannin, LY294002 (PI-3K inhibitor) and rapamycin (FRAP/mTOR inhibitor) (1,6,7). Ser411, Thr421 and Ser424 lie within a Ser-Pro-rich region located in the pseudosubstrate region (1). Phosphorylation at these sites is thought to activate p70 S6 kinase via relief of pseudosubstrate suppression (1,2). Another LY294002 and rapamycin sensitive phosphorylation site, Ser371, is an in vitro substrate for mTOR and correlates well with the activity of a partially rapamycin resistant mutant p70 S6 kinase (8).