Dual requirement for a newly identified phosphorylation site in p70s6k

Mol Cell Biol. 1997 Sep;17(9):5648-55. doi: 10.1128/MCB.17.9.5648.


The activation of p70s6k is associated with multiple phosphorylations at two sets of sites. The first set, S411, S418, T421, and S424, reside within the autoinhibitory domain, and each contains a hydrophobic residue at -2 and a proline at +1. The second set of sites, T229 (in the catalytic domain) and T389 and S404 (in the linker region), are rapamycin sensitive and flanked by bulky aromatic residues. Here we describe the identification and mutational analysis of three new phosphorylation sites, T367, S371, and T447, all of which have a recognition motif similar to that of the first set of sites. A mutation of T367 or T447 to either alanine or glutamic acid had no apparent effect on p70s6k activity, whereas similar mutations of S371 abolished kinase activity. Of these three sites and their surrounding motifs, only S371 is conserved in p70s6k homologs from Drosophila melanogaster, Arabidopsis thaliana, and Saccharomyces cerevisiae, as well as many members of the protein kinase C family. Serum stimulation increased S371 phosphorylation; unlike the situation for specific members of the protein kinase C family, where the homologous site is regulated by autophosphorylation, S371 phosphorylation is regulated by an external mechanism. Phosphopeptide analysis of S371 mutants further revealed that the loss of activity in these variants was paralleled by a block in serum-induced T389 phosphorylation, a phosphorylation site previously shown to be essential for kinase activity. Nevertheless, the substitution of an acidic residue at T389, which mimics phosphorylation at this site, did not rescue mutant p70s6k activity, indicating that S371 phosphorylation plays an independent role in regulating intrinsic kinase activity.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Binding Sites
  • Catalysis
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Consensus Sequence
  • Enzyme Activation
  • Humans
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Peptide Mapping
  • Phosphorylation
  • Protein Kinase C / chemistry
  • Protein-Serine-Threonine Kinases / metabolism*
  • Ribosomal Protein S6 Kinases


  • Protein-Serine-Threonine Kinases
  • Ribosomal Protein S6 Kinases
  • Protein Kinase C