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The endoplasmic reticulum (ER) resident PKR-like kinase (PERK) is necessary for Akt activation in response to ER stress. We demonstrate that PERK harbors intrinsic lipid kinase, favoring diacylglycerol (DAG) as a substrate and generating phosphatidic acid (PA). This activity of PERK correlates with activation of mTOR and phosphorylation of Akt on Ser473. PERK lipid kinase activity is regulated in a phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K) p85α-dependent manner. Moreover, PERK activity is essential during adipocyte differentiation. Because PA and Akt regulate many cellular functions, including cellular survival, proliferation, migratory responses, and metabolic adaptation, our findings suggest that PERK has a more extensive role in insulin signaling, insulin resistance, obesity, and tumorigenesis than previously thought.


Ekaterina Bobrovnikova-Marjon, Dariusz Pytel, Matthew J Riese, Laura Pontano Vaites, Nickpreet Singh, Gary A Koretzky, Eric S Witze, J Alan Diehl. PERK utilizes intrinsic lipid kinase activity to generate phosphatidic acid, mediate Akt activation, and promote adipocyte differentiation. Molecular and cellular biology. 2012 Jun;32(12):2268-78

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PMID: 22493067

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