A structural comparison of inhibitor binding to PKB, PKA and PKA-PKB chimera.
Although the crystal structure of the anti-cancer target protein kinase B (PKBbeta/Akt-2) has been useful in guiding inhibitor design, the closely related kinase PKA has generally been used as a structural mimic due to its facile crystallization with a range of ligands. The use of PKB-inhibitor crystallography would bring important benefits, including a more rigorous understanding of factors dictating PKA/PKB selectivity, and the opportunity to validate the utility of PKA-based surrogates. We present a "back-soaking" method for obtaining PKBbeta-ligand crystal structures, and provide a structural comparison of inhibitor binding to PKB, PKA, and PKA-PKB chimera. One inhibitor presented here exhibits no PKB/PKA selectivity, and the compound adopts a similar binding mode in all three systems. By contrast, the PKB-selective inhibitor A-443654 adopts a conformation in PKB and PKA-PKB that differs from that with PKA. We provide a structural explanation for this difference, and highlight the ability of PKA-PKB to mimic the true PKB binding mode in this case.