Identification and characterization of PS-GAP as a novel regulator of caspase-activated PAK-2.

Article Details


Koeppel MA, McCarthy CC, Moertl E, Jakobi R

Identification and characterization of PS-GAP as a novel regulator of caspase-activated PAK-2.

J Biol Chem. 2004 Dec 17;279(51):53653-64. Epub 2004 Oct 7.

PubMed ID
15471851 [ View in PubMed

p21-activated protein kinase (PAK)-2 is a member of the PAK family of serine/threonine kinases. PAKs are activated by the p21 G-proteins Rac and Cdc42 in response to a variety of extracellular signals and act in pathways controlling cell growth, shape, motility, survival, and death. PAK-2 is unique among the PAK family members because it is also activated through proteolytic cleavage by caspase-3 or similar proteases to generate the constitutively active PAK-2p34 fragment. Activation of full-length PAK-2 by Rac or Cdc42 stimulates cell survival and protects cells from cell death, whereas caspase-activated PAK-2p34 induces a cell death response. Caspase-activated PAK-2p34 is rapidly degraded by the 26 S proteasome, but full-length PAK-2 is not. Stabilization of PAK-2p34 by preventing its polyubiquitination and degradation results in a dramatic stimulation of cell death. Although many proteins have been shown to interact with and regulate full-length PAK-2, little is known about the regulation of caspase-activated PAK-2p34. Here, we identify PS-GAP as a regulator of caspase-activated PAK-2p34. PS-GAP is a GTPase-activating protein for Cdc42 and RhoA that was originally identified by its interaction with the tyrosine kinase PYK-2. PS-GAP interacts specifically with caspase-activated PAK-2p34, but not active or inactive full-length PAK-2, through a region between the GAP and SH3 domains. The interaction with PS-GAP inhibits the protein kinase activity of PAK-2p34 and changes the localization of PAK-2p34 from the nucleus to the perinuclear region. Furthermore, PS-GAP decreases the stimulation of cell death induced by stabilization of PAK-2p34.

DrugBank Data that Cites this Article

NameUniProt ID
Serine/threonine-protein kinase PAK 2Q13177Details