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TUSC4/NPRL2, a novel PDK1-interacting protein, inhibits PDK1 tyrosine phosphorylation and its downstream signaling.

Kurata A., Katayama R., Watanabe T., Tsuruo T., Fujita N.

3-Phosphoinositide-dependent protein kinase-1 (PDK1) is a key regulator of cell proliferation and survival signal transduction. PDK1 is known to be constitutively active and is further activated by Src-mediated phosphorylation at the tyrosine-9, -373, and -376 residues. To identify novel regulators of PDK1, we performed E. coli-based two-hybrid screening and revealed that tumor suppressor candidate 4 (TUSC4), also known as nitrogen permease regulator-like 2 (NPRL2), formed a complex with PDK1 and suppressed Src-dependent tyrosine phosphorylation and activation of PDK1 in vitro and in cells. The NH(2)-terminal 133 amino acid residues of TUSC4 were involved in binding to PDK1. The deletion mutant of TUSC4 that lacked the NH(2)-terminal domain showed no inhibitory effects on PDK1 tyrosine phosphorylation or activation. Thus, complex formation is indispensable for TUSC4-mediated PDK1 inactivation. The siRNA-mediated down-regulation of TUSC4 induced cell proliferation, while ectopic TUSC4 expression inactivated the PDK1 downstream signaling pathway, including Akt and p70 ribosomal protein S6 kinase, and increased cancer cell sensitivity to several anticancer drugs. Our results suggest that TUSC4/NPRL2, a novel PDK1-interacting protein, plays a role in regulating the Src/PDK1 signaling pathway and cell sensitivity to multiple cancer chemotherapeutic drugs.

Cancer Sci. 99:1827-1834(2008) [PubMed] [Europe PMC]