p70 S6K1 nuclear localization depends on its mTOR-mediated phosphorylation at T389, but not on its kinase activity towards S6

Amino Acids. 2012 Jun;42(6):2251-6. doi: 10.1007/s00726-011-0965-4. Epub 2011 Jun 28.


The protein kinase p70 S6K1 is regulated in response to cytokines, nutrients and growth factors, and plays an important role in the development of a variety of human diseases. Mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) is known to phosphorylate and thereby activate p70 S6K1. p70 S6K1 phosphorylates different cytoplasmic and nuclear substrates involved in the regulation of protein synthesis, cell cycle, cell growth and survival. Recently, we have shown that mTOR-mediated phosphorylation of p70 S6K1 at T389 also regulates its nucleocytoplasmic localization. Since this phosphorylation is associated with its kinase activity the question whether p70 S6K1 phosphorylation or kinase activity is essential for its proper localization remained elusive. Recently, the chemical compound PF-4708671 has been demonstrated to block p70 S6K1 kinase activity while inducing its phosphorylation at T389. This potential of PF-4708671 to separate p70 S6K1 activity from its T389 phosphorylation allowed us to demonstrate that the proper nucleocytoplasmic localization of this kinase depends on its mTOR-mediated phosphorylation but not on its kinase activity. These findings provide important insights into the regulation of p70 S6K1 and allow a more detailed understanding of subcellular enzyme localization processes.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Cell Nucleus / drug effects
  • Cell Nucleus / metabolism*
  • Fibroblasts / cytology
  • Fibroblasts / drug effects
  • Fibroblasts / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Imidazoles / pharmacology
  • Phosphorylation
  • Piperazines / pharmacology
  • Primary Cell Culture
  • Protein Kinase Inhibitors / pharmacology
  • Ribosomal Protein S6 Kinases, 70-kDa / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Ribosomal Protein S6 Kinases, 70-kDa / metabolism*
  • Signal Transduction / drug effects
  • Sirolimus / pharmacology
  • TOR Serine-Threonine Kinases / antagonists & inhibitors
  • TOR Serine-Threonine Kinases / metabolism*


  • Imidazoles
  • PF-4708671
  • Piperazines
  • Protein Kinase Inhibitors
  • MTOR protein, human
  • Ribosomal Protein S6 Kinases, 70-kDa
  • TOR Serine-Threonine Kinases
  • Sirolimus