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Rac-1 and Raf-1 kinases, components of distinct signaling pathways, activate myotonic dystrophy protein kinase.

Shimizu M., Wang W., Walch E.T., Dunne P.W., Epstein H.F.

Myotonic dystrophy protein kinase (DMPK) is a serine-threonine protein kinase encoded by the myotonic dystrophy (DM) locus on human chromosome 19q13.3. It is a close relative of other kinases that interact with members of the Rho family of small GTPases. We show here that the actin cytoskeleton-linked GTPase Rac-1 binds to DMPK, and coexpression of Rac-1 and DMPK activates its transphosphorylation activity in a GTP-sensitive manner. DMPK can also bind Raf-1 kinase, the Ras-activated molecule of the MAP kinase pathway. Purified Raf-1 kinase phosphorylates and activates DMPK. The interaction of DMPK with these distinct signals suggests that it may play a role as a nexus for cross-talk between their respective pathways and may partially explain the remarkable pleiotropy of DM.

FEBS Lett. 475:273-277(2000) [PubMed] [Europe PMC]

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