PKA: A portrait of protein kinase dynamics

S. S. Taylor, J. Yang, J. Wu, N. M. Haste, E. Radzio-Andzelm, G. Anand

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

262 Scopus citations


Protein kinases play a critical role in the integration of signaling networks in eukaryotic cells. cAMP-dependent protein kinase (PKA) serves as a prototype for this large and highly diverse enzyme family. The catalytic subunit of PKA provides the best example of how a protein kinase recognizes its substrates, as well as inhibitors, and also show how the enzyme moves through the steps of catalysis. Many of the relevant conformational states associated with the catalytic cycle which have been captured in a crystal lattice are summarized here. From these structures, we can begin to appreciate the molecular events of catalysis as well as the intricate orchestration of critical residues in the catalytic subunit that contribute to catalysis. The entire molecule participates. To fully understand signaling by PKA, however, requires an understanding of a large set of related proteins, not just the catalytic subunit. This includes the regulatory subunits that serve as receptors for cAMP and the A kinase anchoring proteins (AKAPs) that serve as scaffolds for PKA. The AKAPs localize PKA to specific sites in the cell by docking to the N-terminus of the regulatory subunits, thus creating microenvironments for PKA signaling. To fully appreciate the diversity and integration of these molecules, one needs not only high-resolution structures but also an appreciation of how these molecules behave in solution. Thus, in addition to obtaining high-resolution structures by X-ray crystallography and NMR, we have used fluorescent tools and also hydrogen/deuterium exchange coupled with mass spectrometry to probe the dynamic properties of these proteins and how they interact with one another. The molecular features of these molecules are described. Finally, we describe a new recombinantly expressed PKA reporter that allows us to monitor PKA activity in living cells.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)259-269
Number of pages11
JournalBiochimica et Biophysica Acta - Proteins and Proteomics
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - Mar 11 2004

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Biophysics
  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology


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