PDK2: The missing piece in the receptor tyrosine kinase signaling pathway puzzle

Lily Q. Dong, Feng Liu

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

112 Scopus citations


Activation of members of the protein kinase AGC (cAMP dependent, cGMP dependent, and protein kinase C) family is regulated primarily by phosphorylation at two sites: a conserved threonine residue in the activation loop and a serine/threonine residue in a hydrophobic motif (HM) near the COOH terminus. Although phosphorylation of these kinases in the activation loop has been found to be mediated by phosphoinositide-dependent protein kinase-1 (PDK1), the kinase(s) that catalyzes AGC kinase phosphorylation in the HM remains uncharacterized. So far, at least 10 kinases have been suggested to function as an HM kinase or the so-called "PDK2," including mitogen-activated protein (MAP) kinase-activated protein kinase-2 (MK2), integrin-linked kinase (ILK), p38 MAP kinase, protein kinase Cα (PKCα), PKCβ, the NIMA-related kinase-6 (NEK6), the mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR), the double-stranded DNA-dependent protein kinase (DNK-PK), and the ataxia telangiectasia mutated (ATM) gene product. However, whether any or all of these kinases act as a physiological HM kinase remains to be established. Nonetheless, available data suggest that multiple systems may be used in cells to regulate the activation of the AGC family kinases. It is possible that, unlike activation loop phosphorylation, phosphorylation of the HM site in the different AGC family kinases is mediated by distinct kinases. In addition, phosphorylation of the AGC family kinase at the HM site could be cell type, signaling pathway, and substrate specific. Identification and characterization of the bonafide HM kinase(s) will be essential to verify these hypotheses.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)E187-E196
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Endocrinology and Metabolism
Issue number2 52-2
StatePublished - Aug 2005


  • Akt
  • Hydrophobic motif kinase
  • Phosphoinositide-dependent protein kinase-1
  • Phosphoinositide-dependent protein kinase-2

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Physiology
  • Physiology (medical)


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