Maya T. Kunkel

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Protein kinase C (PKC) family members transduce an abundance of diverse intracellular signals. Here we address the role of spatial and temporal segregation in signal specificity by measuring the activity of endogenous PKC at defined intracellular locations in real time in live cells. We targeted a genetically encoded fluorescence resonance energy(More)
Within the Caenorhabditis elegans genome there exist at least 42 genes encoding TWK (two-P domain K(+)) channels, potassium channel subunits that contain two pore regions and four transmembrane domains. We now report the first functional characterization of a TWK channel from C. elegans. Although potassium channels have been reported to be activated by a(More)
Elevated catecholamines in the heart evoke transcriptional activation of the Myocyte Enhancer Factor (MEF) pathway to induce a cellular response known as pathological myocardial hypertrophy. We have discovered that the A-Kinase Anchoring Protein (AKAP)-Lbc is upregulated in hypertrophic cardiomyocytes. It coordinates activation and movement of signaling(More)
The serine/threonine kinase protein kinase B (PKB)/Akt is a critical regulator of insulin signaling, cell survival, and oncogenesis. The activation mechanisms of this key kinase are well characterized. In contrast, inactivation of PKB signaling by phosphatases is less well understood. To study the dynamics of PKB signaling in live cells, we generated a(More)
As many as 50 genes in the C. elegans genome may encode K+ channels belonging to the novel structural class of two-pore (4TM) channels. Many 4TM channels can be grouped into channel subfamilies. We analyzed 4TM channels in C. elegans using methods made possible by having complete genomic sequence. Two genes were chosen for comprehensive analysis, n2P16 and(More)
Protein kinase D (PKD) is a nodal point in cardiac hypertrophic signaling. It triggers nuclear export of class II histone deacetylase (HDAC) and regulates transcription. Although this pathway is thought to be critical in cardiac hypertrophy and heart failure, little is known about spatiotemporal aspects of PKD activation at the myocyte level. Here, we(More)
Optimal tuning of enzyme signaling is critical for cellular homeostasis. We use fluorescence resonance energy transfer reporters in live cells to follow conformational transitions that tune the affinity of a multidomain signal transducer, protein kinase C (PKC), for optimal response to second messengers. This enzyme comprises two diacylglycerol sensors, the(More)
Phosphorylation of gap junction proteins, connexins, plays a role in global signaling events involving kinases. Connexin43 (Cx43), a ubiquitous and important connexin, has several phosphorylation sites for specific kinases. We appended an imaging reporter tag for the activity of the δ isoform of protein kinase C (PKCδ) to the carboxyl terminus of Cx43. The(More)
The five muscarinic acetylcholine receptor (mAChR) subtypes, termed m1-m5, transduce agonist signals across the plasma membrane by activating guanine nucleotide binding (G) proteins. The large cytoplasmic domain joining the fifth and sixth transmembrane segments of mAChRs plays a critical role in controlling the specificity of G protein coupling. In this(More)
Conformational changes acutely control protein kinase C (PKC). We have previously shown that the autoinhibitory pseudosubstrate must be removed from the active site in order for 1) PKC to be phosphorylated by its upstream kinase phosphoinositide-dependent kinase 1 (PDK-1), 2) the mature enzyme to bind and phosphorylate substrates, and 3) the mature enzyme(More)