Mixed lineage kinase 3 (MLK3) is a mitogen-activated protein kinase kinase kinase (MAPKKK) that activates c-jun N-terminal kinase (JNK) and can induce cell death in neurons. By contrast, the activation of phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase and AKT/protein kinase B (PKB) acts to suppress neuronal apoptosis. Here, we report a functional interaction between MLK3 and AKT1/PKBalpha. Endogenous MLK3 and AKT1 interact in HepG2 cells, and this interaction is regulated by insulin. The interaction domain maps to the C-terminal half of MLK3 (amino acids 511-847), and this region also contains a putative AKT phosphorylation consensus sequence. Endogenous JNK, MKK7, and MLK3 kinase activities in HepG2 cells are significantly attenuated by insulin treatment, whereas the phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase inhibitors LY294002 and wortmannin reversed the effect. Finally, MLK3-mediated JNK activation is inhibited by AKT1. AKT phosphorylates MLK3 on serine 674 both in vitro and in vivo. Furthermore, the expression of activated AKT1 inhibits MLK3-mediated cell death in a manner dependent on serine 674 phosphorylation. Thus, these data provide the first direct link between MLK3-mediated cell death and its regulation by a cell survival signaling protein, AKT1.
SciCrunch is a data sharing and display platform. Anyone can create a custom portal where they can select searchable subsets of hundreds of data sources, brand their web pages and create their community. SciCrunch will push data updates automatically to all portals on a weekly basis. User communities can also add their own data to scicrunch, however this is not currently a free service.