Wortmannin inhibits the effects of insulin and serum on the activities of glycogen synthase kinase-3 and mitogen-activated protein kinase

G. I. Welsh, E. J. Foulstone, S. W. Young, J. M. Tavare, C. G. Proud

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We have previously shown that insulin causes inactivation of glycogen synthase kinase-3 (GSK-3) in Chinese hamster ovary cells over-expressing the human insulin receptor (CHO.T cells). We now show that serum and phorbol ester also cause rapid inactivation of GSK-3, both in CHO.T cells and in the nontransfected parental cell line, CHO.K1 cells. Rapamycin was without effect on the inactivation of GSK-3 by insulin, serum or phorbol ester, indicating that the p70 S6 kinase pathway is not involved. In contrast, wortmannin, a potent inhibitor of phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase, blocked the effects of both insulin and serum on GSK-3 activity, and also substantially reduced the activation of both p90 S6 kinase (by insulin) and mitogen-activated protein (MAP) kinase (by insulin and serum). These findings imply (i) that GSK-3 activity is regulated by a cascade involving MAP kinase and p90 S6 kinase and (ii) that wortmannin affects an early step in the MAP kinase pathway. One can infer from this that GSK-3 may be an important regulatory enzyme for the control of several biosynthetic pathways, key enzymes in which are regulated by GSK-3-mediated phosphorylation. Wortmannin had a smaller effect on the activation of MAP kinase by phorbol ester, indicating that phorbol esters may stimulate MAP kinase by a different or additional mechanism to that employed by insulin or serum. Wortmannin had very little effect on the inactivation of GSK-3 by phorbol ester: possible reasons for this are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)15-20
Number of pages6
JournalBiochemical Journal
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished or Issued - 1994
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology

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