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PKC Disruptors

Reflecting recent work in the Kennedy lab

Protein Kinase C (PKC) is a member of the AGC subfamily of kinases and regulates a wide array of signaling pathways and physiological processes. Protein–protein interactions involving PKC and its scaffolding partners dictate the spatiotemporal dynamics of PKC activity, including its access to activating second messenger molecules and potential substrates.

While the A Kinase Anchoring Protein (AKAP) family of scaffold proteins universally bind PKA, several were also found to scaffold PKC, thereby serving to tune its catalytic output. Targeting these scaffolding interactions can further shed light on the effect of subcellular compartmentalization on PKC signaling.

Here is reported the development of two hydrocarbon stapled peptides, CSTAD5 and CSTAD6, that are cell permeable and bind PKC to disrupt PKC–gravin complex formation in cells. Both constrained peptides downregulate PMA-induced cytoskeletal remodeling that is mediated by the PKC–gravin complex as measured by cell rounding.

Further, these peptides downregulate PKC substrate phosphorylation and cell motility. The researchers suspect that no PKC-selective AKAP disruptors have previously been reported and thus CSTAD5 and CSTAD6 are novel disruptors of PKC scaffolding by AKAPs and may serve as powerful tools for dissecting AKAP-localized PKC signaling.

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