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A PDK1 homolog is necessary and sufficient to transduce AGE-1 PI3 kinase signals that regulate diapause in Caenorhabditis elegans

Authors
Publisher
Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press
Publication Date
Source
PMC
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  • Research Paper

Abstract

An insulin receptor-like signaling pathway regulates Caenorhabditis elegans metabolism, development, and longevity. Inactivation of the insulin receptor homolog DAF-2, the AGE-1 PI3K, or the AKT-1 and AKT-2 kinases causes a developmental arrest at the dauer stage. A null mutation in the daf-16 Fork head transcription factor alleviates the requirement for signaling through this pathway. We show here that a loss-of-function mutation in pdk-1, the C. elegans homolog of the mammalian Akt/PKB kinase PDK1, results in constitutive arrest at the dauer stage and increased life span; these phenotypes are suppressed by a loss of function mutation in daf-16. An activating mutation in pdk-1 or overexpression of wild-type pdk-1 relieves the requirement for AGE-1 PI3K signaling. Therefore, pdk-1 activity is both necessary and sufficient to propagate AGE-1 PI3K signals in the DAF-2 insulin receptor-like signaling pathway. The activating mutation in pdk-1 requires akt-1 and akt-2 gene activity in order to suppress the dauer arrest phenotype of age-1. This indicates that the major function of C. elegans PDK1 is to transduce signals from AGE-1 to AKT-1 and AKT-2. The activating pdk-1 mutation is located in a conserved region of the kinase domain; the equivalent amino acid substitution in human PDK1 activates its kinase activity toward mammalian Akt/PKB.

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