Development of an intracellularly acting inhibitory peptide selective for PKN
Protein Kinase C
PKNs form a subfamily of the AGC serine/threonine protein kinases, and have a catalytic domain homologous with that of PKC (protein kinase C) in the C-terminal region and three characteristic ACC (antiparallel coiled-coil) domain repeats in the N-terminal region. The preferred peptide phosphorylation motif for PKNs determined by a combinatorial peptide library method was highly similar to that of PKCs within a 10-amino-acid stretch. Previously reported PKN inhibitory compounds also inhibit PKCs to a similar extent, and no PKN selective inhibitors have been commercially available. We have identified a 15-amino-acid peptide inhibitor of PKNs based on amino acids 485-499 of the C-terminal region of the C2-like domain of PKN1. This peptide, designated as PRL, selectively inhibits the kinase activity of all isoforms of PKN (Ki=0.7 muM) towards a peptide substrate, as well as autophosphorylation activity of PKN in vitro, in contrast with PKC. Reversible conjugation by a disulfide bond of a carrier peptide bearing a penetration accelerating sequence to PRL, facilitated the cellular uptake of this peptide and significantly inhibited phosphorylation of tau by PKN1 at the PKN1-specific phosphorylation site in vivo. This peptide may serve as a valuable tool for investigating PKN activation and PKN-mediated responses.