Allosteric regulation of glycogen synthase kinase 3β: A theoretical study

Idit Buch, Dan Fishelovitch, Nir London, Barak Raveh, Haim J. Wolfson, Ruth Nussinov*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Scopus citations


Glycogen synthase kinase 3β (GSK-3β) is a serine-threonine kinase belonging to the CMGC family that plays a key role in many biological processes, such as glucose metabolism, cell cycle regulation, and proliferation. Like most protein kinases, GSK-3β is regulated via multiple pathways and sites. We performed all-atom molecular dynamics simulations on the unphosphorylated and phosphorylated unbound GSK-3β and the phosphorylated GSK-3β bound to a peptide substrate, its product, and a derived inhibitor. We found that GSK-3β autophosphorylation at residue Tyr216 results in widening of the catalytic groove, thereby facilitating substrate access. In addition, we studied the interactions of the phosphorylated GSK-3β with a substrate and peptide inhibitor located at the active site and observed higher affinity of the inhibitor to the kinase. Furthermore, we detected a potential remote binding site which was previously identified in other kinases. In agreement with experiments we observed that binding of specific peptides at this remote site leads to stabilization of the activation loop located in the active site. We speculate that this stabilization could enhance the catalytic activity of the kinase. We point to this remote site as being structurally conserved and suggest that the allosteric phenomenon observed here may occur in the protein kinase superfamily.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)10890-10901
Number of pages12
Issue number51
StatePublished - 28 Dec 2010


Dive into the research topics of 'Allosteric regulation of glycogen synthase kinase 3β: A theoretical study'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this