Phosphoinositide-dependent protein kinase-1 (PDK1) is a recently identified serine/threonine kinase that phosphorylates and activates Akt and p70(S6K), two downstream kinases of phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase. To further study the potential role of PDK1, we have screened a mouse liver cDNA library and identified a cDNA encoding the enzyme. The predicted mouse PDK1 (mPDK1) protein contained 559 amino acids and a COOH-terminal pleckstrin homology domain. A 7-kilo-base mPDK1 mRNA was broadly expressed in mouse tissues and in embryonic cells. In the testis, a high level expression of a tissue- specific 2-kilobase transcript was also detected. Anti-mPDK1 antibody recognized multiple proteins in mouse tissues with molecular masses ranging from 60 to 180 kDa. mPDK1 phosphorylated the conserved threonine residue (Thr402) in the activation loop of protein kinase C-ζ and activated the enzyme in vitro and in cells. Our findings suggest that there may be different isoforms of mPDK1 and that the protein is an upstream kinase that activates divergent pathways downstream of phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase.
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