Molecular basis for the regulation of phosphoinositide 3-kinase γ (PI3Kγ)




Rathinaswamy, Manoj Kumar

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Cells transduce signals from the external environment to the inside through phosphatidylinositol-3,4,5-phosphate (PIP3), a major signaling lipid on the plasma membrane. PIP3 is generated by the action of a family of lipid kinases called Class I phosphoinositide 3-kinases (PI3Ks) and controls an array of essential cellular functions including growth, proliferation, survival, metabolism and cytoskeletal architecture. PI3Ks are large heterodimeric complexes composed of a catalytic p110 subunit and a regulatory subunit. Crucial to healthy PIP3 production is the interpretation of diverse activating inputs arising from signaling proteins on the membrane by these subunits. A member of the PI3K family, PI3Kγ is a master regulator of immune functions with therapeutic implications in cancer immunity and inflammatory disease. PI3Kγ is distinct from other well studied PI3Ks due to the presence of unique regulatory mechanisms that control its ability to integrate signals from G-protein coupled receptors, small GTPases, immunoglobulin receptors and toll-like receptors. However, unlike the other well characterized PI3Ks, there are significant gaps in understanding of the molecular details of these mechanisms and how regulatory processes are translated into functions elicited by PI3Kγ in its unique milieu within the immune system. To understand PI3Kγ regulation, I utilized a synergy of cutting-edge approaches including protein biochemistry, X-ray crystallography, cryo-electron microscopy and hydrogen-deuterium exchange mass spectrometry to elucidate the unique regulatory features within its catalytic and regulatory subunits and how these features are disrupted in disease. These studies significantly advanced our understanding of how this enzyme functions and provided novel avenues for potentially targeting the enzyme better in therapy. This dissertation will consist of an introduction chapter summarizing PI3Kγ regulation and its role in disease, followed by three data chapters investigating previously uncharacterized regulatory mechanisms that control its function and how these mechanisms are implicated in disease. These data chapters are followed by a final chapter describing conclusions and future directions. In summary, the work presented in this thesis provides novel insights into the unique regulatory features in the catalytic and regulatory subunits of PI3Kγ that mediate its stimulation by upstream activating partners and the mechanisms by which these features are disrupted in disease. Further, these studies have facilitated the effective characterization of potent molecules that can specifically target PI3Kγ in disease. Altogether, the findings of this dissertation constitute a major advancement in our understanding of PI3K regulation.



Cryo electron microscopy, Protein biochemistry, Structural Biology, Cell Signaling, Lipids, Phosphoinositides, Immunity, Enzymes