Phosphorylation and inactivation of glycogen synthase kinase 3 by protein kinase A

Xianjun Fang, Shuang Xing Yu, Yiling Lu, Robert C. Bast, James R. Woodgett, Gordon Mills

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

531 Scopus citations


Glycogen synthase kinase 3 (GSK-3) is implicated in multiple biological processes including metabolism, gene expression, cell fate determination, proliferation, and survival. GSK-3 activity is inhibited through phosphorylation of serine 21 in GSK-3α and serine 9 in GSK-3β. These serine residues of GSK-3 have been previously identified as targets of protein kinase B (PKB/Akt), a serine/threonine kinase located downstream of phosphatidyl-inositol 3-kinase. Here, we show that serine 21 in GSK-3α and serine 9 in GSK-3β are also physiological substrates of cAMP-dependent protein kinase A. Protein kinase A physically associates with, phosphorylates, and inactivates both isoforms of GSK-3. The results indicate that depending on the stimulatory context, the activity of GSK-3 can be modulated either by growth factors that work through the phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase-protein kinase B cascade or by hormonal stimulation of G protein-coupled receptors that link to changes in intracellular cAMP levels.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)11960-11965
Number of pages6
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number22
Publication statusPublished - Oct 24 2000
Externally publishedYes


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics
  • General

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