Hydrophobic motif phosphorylation is not required for activation loop phosphorylation of p70 ribosomal protein S6 kinase 1 (S6K1)

Malik M. Keshwani, Sventja Von Daake, Alexandra C. Newton, Thomas K. Harris, Susan S. Taylor

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

32 Scopus citations

Abstract

p70 ribosomal protein S6 kinase 1 (S6K1) is regulated by multiple phosphorylation events. Three of these sites are highly conserved among AGC kinases (cAMP dependent Protein Kinase, cGMP dependent Protein Kinase, and Protein Kinase C subfamily): the activation loop in the kinase domain, and two C-terminal sites, the turn motif and the hydrophobic motif. The common dogma has been that phosphorylation of the hydrophobic motif primes S6K1 for the phosphorylation at the activation loop by phosphoinositide-dependent protein kinase 1 (PDK1). Here, we show that the turn motif is, in fact, phosphorylated first, the activation loop second, and the hydrophobic motif is third. Specifically, biochemical analyses of a construct of S6K1 lacking the C-terminal autoinhibitory domain as well as full-length S6K1, reveals that S6K1 is constitutively phosphorylated at the turn motif when expressed in insect cells and becomes phosphorylated in vitro by purified PDK1 at the activation loop. Only the species phosphorylated at the activation loop by PDK1 gets phosphorylated at the hydrophobic motif by mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) in vitro. These data are consistent with a previous model in which constitutive phosphorylation of the turn motif provides the key priming step in the phosphorylation of S6K1. The data provide evidence for regulation of S6K1, where hydrophobic motif phosphorylation is not required for PDK1 to phosphorylate S6K1 at the activation loop, but instead activation loop phosphorylation of S6K1 is required for mTOR to phosphorylate the hydrophobic motif of S6K1.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)23552-23558
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Volume286
Issue number26
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 1 2011

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology

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