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Issue 2, 2012
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Understanding the relative affinity and specificity of the pleckstrin homology domain of protein kinase B for inositol phosphates

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Abstract

Protein kinase B (PKB) is a serine/threonine kinase that plays a key role in the phosphoinositide 3-kinase (PI3K) pathway—one of the most frequently activated proliferation pathways in cancer. In this pathway, PKB is recruited to the plasma membrane by direct interaction of its pleckstrin homology (PH) domain with the inositol phosphate head-group of phosphatidylinositol 3,4,5-trisphosphate [PtdIns(3,4,5)P3] or phosphatidylinositol 3,4-bisphosphate [PtdIns(3,4)P2]. This recruitment is a critical stage in the activation of PKB, whose downstream effectors play important roles in cell survival, proliferation and growth. It is therefore of great interest to understand PKB's mode of binding, as well as its specificity and affinity for different phosphoinositides. We have used a total of 3 μs of molecular dynamics (MD) simulations to better understand the interactions of the PKB PH domain with the inositol phosphate head-groups of phosphoinositides involved in the PI3K pathway. Our computational models successfully mirror PKB's in vivo selectivity for 3-phosphorylated phosphoinositides. Furthermore, the models also help to rationalize unexpected in vitro data in which inositol 1,4,5-trisphosphate [Ins(1,4,5)P3] binds with a relatively high affinity to the PKB PH domain, despite its parent lipid phosphatidylinositol 4,5-bisphosphate [PtdIns(4,5)P2] being known not to bind in vivo. With the support of computational simulations, we propose that when not bonded to a phosphatidate tail Ins(1,4,5)P3 binds in an orientation in which its inositol ring is flipped with respect to the 3-phosphorylated inositol phosphate ligands and its parent lipid.

Graphical abstract: Understanding the relative affinity and specificity of the pleckstrin homology domain of protein kinase B for inositol phosphates

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Publication details

The article was received on 08 Jul 2011, accepted on 04 Nov 2011 and first published on 25 Nov 2011


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C1CP22240F
Citation: Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys., 2012,14, 929-936
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    Understanding the relative affinity and specificity of the pleckstrin homology domain of protein kinase B for inositol phosphates

    S. A. J. Rosen, P. R. J. Gaffney, B. Spiess and I. R. Gould, Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys., 2012, 14, 929
    DOI: 10.1039/C1CP22240F

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