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Frame M.C.,Cancer Research UK Research Institute | Patel H.,Cancer Research UK Research Institute | Serrels B.,Cancer Research UK Research Institute | Lietha D.,Cell Signalling and Adhesion Group | Eck M.J.,Harvard University
Nature Reviews Molecular Cell Biology | Year: 2010

Focal adhesion kinase (FAK) is a scaffold and tyrosine kinase protein that binds to itself and cellular partners through its four-point-one, ezrin, radixin, moesin (FERM) domain. Recent structural work reveals that regulatory protein partners convert auto-inhibited FAK into its active state by binding to its FERM domain. Further, the identity of FAK FERM domain-interacting proteins yields clues as to how FAK coordinates diverse cellular responses, including cell adhesion, polarization, migration, survival and death, and suggests that FERM domains might mediate information transfer between the cell cortex and nucleus. Importantly, the FAK FERM domain might act as a paradigm for the actions of other FERM domain-containing proteins. © 2010 Macmillan Publishers Limited. All rights reserved.

Balzano D.,Cell Signalling and Adhesion Group | Fawal M.-A.,Nutrients and Cancer Group | Velazquez J.V.,Cell Signalling and Adhesion Group | Santiveri C.M.,Spectroscopy and Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Unit | And 5 more authors.
Journal of Biological Chemistry | Year: 2015

Protein kinase B (PKB/Akt) is an important mediator of signals that control various cellular processes including cell survival, growth, proliferation, and metabolism. PKB promotes these processes by phosphorylating many cellular targets, which trigger distinct downstream signaling events. However, how PKB is able to selectively target its substrates to induce specific cellular functions remains elusive. Here we perform a systematic study to dissect mechanisms that regulate intrinsic kinase activity versus mechanisms that specifically regulate activity toward specific substrates. We demonstrate that activation loop phosphorylation and the C-terminal hydrophobic motif are essential for high PKB activity in general. On the other hand, we identify membrane targeting, which for decades has been regarded as an essential step in PKB activation, as a mechanism mainly affecting substrate selectivity. Further, we show that PKB activity in cells can be triggered independently of PI3K by initial hydrophobic motif phosphorylation, presumably through a mechanism analogous to other AGC kinases. Importantly, different modes of PKB activation result in phosphorylation of distinct downstream targets. Our data indicate that specific mechanisms have evolved for signaling nodes, like PKB, to select between various downstream events. Targeting such mechanisms selectively could facilitate the development of therapeutics that might limit toxic side effects. © 2015 by The American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Inc.

Le Coq J.,Cell Signalling and Adhesion Group | Heredia Gallego L.,Cell Signalling and Adhesion Group | Lietha D.,Cell Signalling and Adhesion Group
Protein Journal | Year: 2016

The Src homology 2 containing inositol 5-phosphatase 2 (SHIP2) catalyses the dephosphorylation of the phospholipid phosphatidylinositol 3,4,5-triphosphate (PI(3,4,5)P3) to form PI(3,4)P2. PI(3,4,5)P3 is a key lipid second messenger, which can recruit signalling proteins to the plasma membrane and subsequently initiate numerous downstream signalling pathways responsible for the regulation of a plethora of cellular events such as proliferation, growth, apoptosis and cytoskeletal rearrangements. SHIP2 has been heavily implicated with several serious diseases such as cancer and type 2 diabetes but its regulation remains poorly understood. In order to gain insight into the mechanisms of SHIP2 regulation, a fragment of human SHIP2 containing the phosphatase domain and a region proposed to resemble a C2 domain was crystallized. Currently, no structural information is available on the putative C2-related domain or its relative position with respect to the phosphatase domain. Initial crystals were polycrystalline, but were optimized to obtain diffraction data to a resolution of 2.1 Å. Diffraction data analysis revealed a P212121 space group with unit cell parameters a = 136.04 Å, b = 175.84 Å, c = 176.89 Å. The Matthews coefficient is 2.54 Å3 Da−1 corresponding to 8 molecules in the asymmetric unit with a solvent content of 51.7 %. © 2016, Springer Science+Business Media New York.

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