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The Cdc42-associated kinase ACK1 is not auto-inhibited but requires Src for activation.

Chan W., Sit S.T., Manser E.

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 C-terminal 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.

Biochem. J. 435:355-364(2011) [PubMed] [Europe PMC]