Regulation of glucose homeostasis by KSR1 and MARK2

Paula J. Klutho, Diane L. Costanzo-Garvey, Robert E. Lewis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Protein scaffolds control the intensity and duration of signaling and dictate the specificity of signaling through MAP kinase pathways. KSR1 is a molecular scaffold of the Raf/MEK/ERK MAP kinase cascade that regulates the intensity and duration of ERK activation. Relative to wild-type mice, ksr1 -/- mice are modestly glucose intolerant, but show a normal response to exogenous insulin. However, ksr1 -/- mice also demonstrate a three-fold increase in serum insulin levels in response to a glucose challenge, suggesting a role for KSR1 in insulin secretion. The kinase MARK2 is closely related to C-TAK1, a known regulator of KSR1. Mice lacking MARK2 have an increased rate of glucose disposal in response to exogenous insulin, increased glucose tolerance, and are resistant to diet-induced obesity. mark2 -/-ksr1 -/- (DKO) mice were compared to wild type, mark2 -/-, and ksr1 -/- mice for their ability to regulate glucose homeostasis. Here we show that disruption of KSR1 in mark2 -/- mice reverses the increased sensitivity to exogenous insulin resulting from MARK2 deletion. DKO mice respond to exogenous insulin similarly to wild type and ksr1 -/- mice. These data suggest a model whereby MARK2 negatively regulates insulin sensitivity in peripheral tissue through inhibition of KSR1. Consistent with this model, we found that MARK2 binds and phosphorylates KSR1 on Ser392. Phosphorylation of Ser392 is a critical regulator of KSR1 stability, subcellular location, and ERK activation. These data reveal an unexpected role for the molecular scaffold KSR1 in insulin-regulated glucose metabolism.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere29304
JournalPloS one
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 19 2011

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • General Agricultural and Biological Sciences
  • General


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