Serine/arginine-rich (SR) proteins play essential roles in the constitutive and regulated splicing of precursor mRNAs. Phosphorylation of the arginine/serine dipeptide-rich (RS) domain by SR protein kinases such as Cdc2-like kinases (Clk/Sty) modulates their subcellular localization and activation. However, it remains unclear how these kinases and their target SR proteins are regulated by extracellular signals. Regulation of protein kinase C βII (PKCβII) pre-mRNA alternative splicing via exon inclusion by Akt2, a central kinase in insulin action, involves phosphorylation of SR proteins. Here we showed that Akt2, in response to insulin, resulted in phosphorylation of Clk/Sty, which then altered SR protein phosphorylation in concert with Akt2. Insulin-stimulated PKCβII pre-mRNA splicing was blocked by Clk/Sty and phosphatidylinositol-3-kinase inhibitors, and diabetic Akt2-null mouse tissues had impaired phospho-Clk/Sty, SR protein phosphorylation, and PKCβII expression. Furthermore, we observed that Akt2 phosphorylated several SR proteins distinct from Clk/Sty in response to insulin. Akt2-catalyzed phosphorylation of Clk/Sty and SR proteins revealed a role for both kinases in splicing regulation indicating dual functions for Akt2 in response to insulin in this pathway
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