Protein kinase Cδ regulates nuclear export of FOXO1 through phosphorylation of the chaperone 14-3-3ζ

Felicia Gerst, Gabriele Kaiser, Madhura Panse, Tina Sartorius, Anna Pujol, Anita M. Hennige, Fausto Machicao, Reiner Lammers, Fatima Bosch, Hans Ulrich Häring, Susanne Ullrich

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

20 Citations (Scopus)


© 2015, Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg. Aims/hypothesis: Forkhead box protein O1 (FOXO1) is a transcription factor essential for beta cell fate. Protein kinase B-dependent phosphorylation of FOXO1 at S256 (P-FOXO1) enables its binding to 14-3-3 dimers and nuclear export. Dephosphorylated FOXO1 enters nuclei and activates pro-apoptotic genes. Since our previous observations suggest that protein kinase C delta (PKCδ) induces nuclear accumulation of FOXO1, the underlying mechanism was examined. Methods: In human islets, genetically modified mice and INS-1E cells apoptosis was assessed by TUNEL staining. Subcellular translocation of proteins was examined by confocal microscopy and signalling pathways were analysed by western blotting and overlay assay. Results: In PKCδ-overexpressing (PKCδ-tg) mouse islet cells and INS-1E cells FOXO1 accumulated in nuclei, surprisingly, as P-FOXO1. PKCδ-tg decelerated IGF-1-dependent stimulation of nuclear export, indicating that changes in export caused nuclear retention of P-FOXO1. Nuclear accumulation of P-FOXO1 was accompanied by increased phosphorylation of 14-3-3ζ at S58 and reduced dimerisation of 14-3-3ζ. Palmitic acid further augmented phosphorylation of 14-3-3ζ and triggered nuclear accumulation of FOXO1 in both INS-1E and human islet cells. Furthermore, the overexpression of a phosphomimicking mutant of 14-3-3ζ (S58D) enhanced nuclear FOXO1. In accordance with the nuclear accumulation of P-FOXO1, PKCδ overexpression alone did not increase apoptotic cell death. Additionally, insulin secretion and glucose homeostasis in PKCδ-overexpressing mice remained unaffected. Conclusions/interpretation: These results suggest that PKCδ-mediated phosphorylation of 14-3-3ζ contributes to the nuclear retention of FOXO1, even when FOXO1 is phosphorylated as under non-stress conditions. P-FOXO1 does not induce pro-apoptotic genes, but may rather exert beneficial effects on beta cells.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2819-2831
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2015


  • 14-3-3ζ
  • Apoptosis
  • FOXO1
  • Insulin-secreting beta cells
  • JNK
  • Palmitate
  • PKCδ


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