Background: Akt, also referred to as PKB or Rac, plays a critical role in controlling survival and apoptosis (1-3). This protein kinase is activated by insulin and various growth and survival factors to function in a wortmannin-sensitive pathway involving PI3 kinase (2,3). Akt is activated by phospholipid binding and activation loop phosphorylation at Thr308 by PDK1 (4) and by phosphorylation within the carboxy terminus at Ser473. The previously elusive PDK2 responsible for phosphorylation of Akt at Ser473 has been identified as mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) in a rapamycin-insensitive complex with rictor and Sin1 (5,6). Akt promotes cell survival by inhibiting apoptosis through phosphorylation and inactivation of several targets, including Bad (7), forkhead transcription factors (8), c-Raf (9), and caspase-9. PTEN phosphatase is a major negative regulator of the PI3 kinase/Akt signaling pathway (10). LY294002 is a specific PI3 kinase inhibitor (11). Another essential Akt function is the regulation of glycogen synthesis through phosphorylation and inactivation of GSK-3α and β (12,13). Akt may also play a role in insulin stimulation of glucose transport (12). In addition to its role in survival and glycogen synthesis, Akt is involved in cell cycle regulation by preventing GSK-3β-mediated phosphorylation and degradation of cyclin D1 (14) and by negatively regulating the cyclin dependent kinase inhibitors p27 Kip1 (15) and p21 Waf1/Cip1 (16). Akt also plays a critical role in cell growth by directly phosphorylating mTOR in a rapamycin-sensitive complex containing raptor (17). More importantly, Akt phosphorylates and inactivates tuberin (TSC2), an inhibitor of mTOR within the mTOR-raptor complex (18,19).
Background: Fibroblast growth factors (FGFs) produce mitogenic and angiogenic effects in target cells by signaling through cell surface receptor tyrosine kinases. There are four members of the FGF receptor family: FGFR1 (flg), FGFR2 (bek, KGFR), FGFR3, and FGFR4. Each receptor contains an extracellular ligand binding domain, a transmembrane domain, and a cytoplasmic kinase domain (1). Following ligand binding and dimerization, the receptors are phosphorylated at specific tyrosine residues (2). Seven tyrosine residues in the cytoplasmic tail of FGFR1 can be phosphorylated: Tyr463, 583, 585, 653, 654, 730, and 766. Tyr653 and Tyr654 are important for catalytic activity of activated FGFR and are essential for signaling (3). The other phosphorylated tyrosine residues may provide docking sites for downstream signaling components such as Crk and PLCγ (4,5).
|Human, Monkey, Mouse, Rat|
Background: Cyclin-dependent kinases (CDKs) are serine/threonine kinases that are activated by cyclins and govern eukaryotic cell cycle progression. While CDK5 shares high sequence homology with its family members, it is thought mainly to function in postmitotic neurons to regulate the cytoarchitecture of these cells. Analogous to cyclins, the regulatory subunits p35 and p39 associate with and activate CDK5 despite the lack of sequence homology. CDK5 is ubiquitously expressed, with high levels of kinase activity detected primarily in the nervous system due to the narrow expression pattern of p35 and p39 in post-mitotic neurons. A large number of CDK5 substrates have been identified although no substrates have been specifically attributed to p35 or p39. Substrates of CDK5 include p35, PAK1, Src, β-catenin, tau, neurofilament-H, neurofilament-M, synapsin-1, APP, DARPP32, PP1-inhibitor, and Rb. p35 is rapidly degraded (T1/2 <20 min) by the ubiquitin-proteasome pathway (1). However, p35 stability increases as CDK5 kinase activity decreases, likely as a result of decreased phosphorylation of p35 at Thr138 by CDK5 (2). Proteolytic cleavage of p35 by calpain produces p25 upon neurotoxic insult, resulting in prolonged activation of CDK5 by p25. Research studies have shown accumulation of p25 in neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer's disease and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) (3,4).