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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Akt mediates insulin- stimulated phosphorylation of Ndrg2: evidence for cross-talk with protein kinase C theta.

The protein kinase Akt mediates several metabolic and mitogenic effects of insulin, whereas activation of protein kinase C ( PKC) isoforms has been implicated in the inhibition of insulin action. We have previously shown that both PKC and PKCepsilon are activated in skeletal muscle of insulin-resistant high fat-fed rats, and to identify potential substrates for these kinases, we incubated recombinant PKC isoforms with rat muscle fractions in vitro. PKC specifically phosphorylated a 48-kDa protein that was subsequently identified by mass spectrometry as Ndrg2. Ndrg2 is highly related to N-Myc downstream-regulated protein 1, which has been linked to stress responses, cell proliferation, and differentiation, although Ndrg2 itself is not repressed by N-Myc. Ndrg2 contains several potential phosphorylation sites, including three Akt consensus sequences. Ndrg2 phosphorylation was enhanced in [32P]orthophosphate- labeled C2C12 muscle cells co-overexpressing either PKC or Akt. Phosphorylation of Ndrg2 was examined further using a phospho (Ser/Thr) Akt substrate antibody. Insulin increased Ndrg2 phosphorylation in C2C12 cells in a wortmannin- and palmitate-inhibitable manner, whereas rapamycin, PD98059, and bisindoylmaleimide I had no effect, supporting a direct role for Akt. Mutation of Ndrg2 indicated that Thr-348 is the major phosphorylation site detected by the antibody and that Akt stimulates phosphorylation of this site, whereas PKC phosphorylates Ser-332. PKC overexpression, however, diminished the effect of insulin on Thr-348 phosphorylation without reducing Akt activation, suggesting that this is mediated through phosphorylation of Ndrg2 at Ser-332. Our data identify Ndrg2 as a novel insulin-dependent phosphoprotein and suggest that PKC may inhibit insulin action in part by reducing its phosphorylation by Akt.[1]


  1. Akt mediates insulin-stimulated phosphorylation of Ndrg2: evidence for cross-talk with protein kinase C theta. Burchfield, J.G., Lennard, A.J., Narasimhan, S., Hughes, W.E., Wasinger, V.C., Corthals, G.L., Okuda, T., Kondoh, H., Biden, T.J., Schmitz-Peiffer, C. J. Biol. Chem. (2004) [Pubmed]
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