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Chan P.M.,SGSK Group | Manser E.,SGSK Group
Progress in Molecular Biology and Translational Science | Year: 2012

The p21activated kinases (PAKs) are one of the first direct kinase targets of Ras-related small GTPases to be discovered and have emerged as central players in growth factor signaling networks that regulate morphogenetic processes. In some situations, PAKs control cell proliferation, but their wider role involves establishing cell polarity and promoting cellular plasticity via changes in the actin cytoskeleton. PAKs have been shown to impact on three important areas of human health, namely, cancer, brain function, and virus infection. We review the mechanisms and targets of PAKs in these contexts and provide an overview of the ways in which inhibitors might act to arrest tumor growth, combat virus infection, and promote cell apoptosis. Although PAKs are most abundant in the brain, there are few details of how they might be operating in this context. The advent of new and more selective PAK inhibitors promises new avenues of treatment and allows us to probe in greater detail the importance of PAK biology. © 2012 Elsevier Inc. Source

Chan P.M.,SGSK Group | Chan P.M.,Institute of Molecular and Cell Biology | Ng Y.-W.,SGSK Group | Ng Y.-W.,Institute of Molecular and Cell Biology | And 3 more authors.
Molecular and Cellular Proteomics | Year: 2011

Modern proteomic techniques have identified hundreds of proteins that bind 14-3-3s, the most widespread eukaryotic phosphoserine/threonine sensors, but accurate prediction of the target phospho-sites is difficult. Here we describe a systematic approach using synthetic peptides that tests large numbers of potential binding sites in parallel for human 14-3-3. By profiling the sequence requirements for three diverse 14-3-3 binding sites (from IRS-1, IRSp53 and GIT2), we have generated enhanced bioinformatics tools to score sites and allow more tractable testing by co-immunoprecipitation. This approach has allowed us to identify two additional sites other than Ser216 in the widely studied cell division cycle (Cdc) protein 25C, whose function depends on 14-3-3 binding. These Ser247 and Ser263 sites in human Cdc25C, which were not predicted by the existing Scansite search, are conserved across species and flank the nuclear localization region. Furthermore, we found strong interactions between 14-3-3 and peptides with the sequence Rxx[S/T]xR typical for PKC sites, and which is as abundant as the canonical Rxx[S/T]xP motif in the proteome. Two such sites are required for 14-3-3 binding in the polarity protein Numb. A recent survey of >200 reported sites identified only a handful containing this motif, suggesting that it is currently under-appreciated as a candidate binding site. This approach allows one to rapidly map 14-3-3 binding sites and has revealed alternate motifs. © 2011 by The American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Inc. Source

Say E.,SGSK Group | Tay H.-G.,Singapore Institute of Medical Biology | Zhao Z.-s.,SGSK Group | Baskaran Y.,SGSK Group | And 4 more authors.
Molecular Cell | Year: 2010

Loss of fragile X mental retardation protein FMR1 is the most common genetic cause of mental deficiency in man. We find that both FMR1 and the related FXR1 serve as direct binding partners for the Cdc42 effector PAK1. This involves an 11 residue segment in the PAK1 autoinhibitory domain that is exposed upon kinase activation and binds the FXR1 KH2 domain. Active PAK1 can phosphorylate FXR1 at Ser420; antibodies to this site show increased phosphorylation when fragile X proteins are recruited to stress granules. During zebrafish muscle development, FXR1 Ser420 phosphorylation is needed for protein function. The familial FMR1(I304N) mutation is biologically inactive, and FXR1(I304N) fails to bind PAK1. A different PAK1 binding-deficient mutant, FXR1(Q348K/E352A), fails to rescue loss of Zf-FXR1 unless combined with a gain-of-function S420D phosphomimetic. This is the first documented protein partner for the KH(2) domain of FMR1 or FXR1, and it has several implications for signaling by fragile X proteins. © 2010 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. Source

Chan W.,SGSK Group | Sit S.-T.,SGSK Group | Manser E.,SGSK Group
Biochemical Journal | Year: 2011

The non-RTK (receptor tyrosine kinase) ACK1 [activated Cdc42 (cell division cycle 42)-associated kinase 1] binds a number of RTKs and is associated with their endocytosis and turnover. Its mode of activation is not well established, but models have suggested that this is an autoinhibited kinase. Point mutations in its SH3 (Src homology 3)- or EGF (epidermal growth factor)-binding domains have been reported to activate ACK1, but we find neither of the corresponding W424K or F820A mutations do so. Indeed, deletion of the various ACK1 domains Cterminal to the catalytic domain are not associated with increased activity. A previous report identified only one major tyrosine phosphorylated protein of 60 kDa co-purified with ACK1. In a screen for new SH3 partners for ACK1 we found multiple Src family kinases; of these c-Src itself binds best. The SH2 and SH3 domains of Src interact with ACK1 Tyr518 and residues 623-652 respectively. Src targets the ACK1 activation loop Tyr284, a poor autophosphorylation site. We propose that ACK1 fails to undergo significant autophosphorylation on Tyr284 in vivo because it is basophilic (whereas Src is acidophilic). Subsequent ACK1 activation downstream of receptors such as EGFR (EGF receptor) (and Src) promotes turnover of ACK1 in vivo, which is blocked by Src inhibitors, and is compromised in the Src-deficient SYF cell line. The results of the present study can explain why ACK1 is responsive to so many external stimuli including RTKs and integrin ligation, since Src kinases are commonly recruited by multiple receptor systems. © The Authors Journal compilation © 2011 Biochemical Society. Source

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