Function and regulation of the PDK1 kinase

Published on December 14, 2010   58 min

A selection of talks on Biochemistry

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Hello there. A very big welcome to my Henry Stewart talk. My name is Dario Alessi and in today's lecture, I'm going to tell you about the work that my laboratory has done on the PDK1 protein kinase over the last 15 years or so. This work was done in one of the best places in the world to study signal transduction pathways of the protein phosphorylation units at the University of Dundee. So my talks are going to be divided into different sections. And first I'm going to give you a very general introduction to Insulin and Insulin signaling. And then, I'm going to tell you about the work that led up to the discovery of PDK1 and the subsequent analysis, that we have done on this enzyme, to show the central role it plays in Insulin and growth factor receptor signalling pathways. And then, I'll finish this talk by telling you about some research that indicates that inhibiting PDK1, may be a very useful strategy to treat or better treat many types of cancer.
Insulin is a hormone secreted by the beta cells of the pancreas, following food ingestion by animals. Its main function is to stimulate the uptake of nutrients such as glucose,amino acids, fatty acids into tissues and stimulate their conversion into the stable macromolecules such as glycogen, protein and lipids, that can be used as a fuel source, to fuel the cells' and tissues' activities. And Insulin mainly exerts these effects in the key insulin sensitive tissues of the body which are skeletal muscle, adipose and liver tissues. The way Insulin works is by binding to the Insulin receptors,