Protein phosphorylation is responsible for a large portion of the regulatory functions of eukaryotic cells. Although the list of sequenced genomes of filamentous fungi has grown rapidly, the kinomes of recently sequenced species have not yet been studied in detail. The objective of this study is to apply a comparative analysis of the kinase distribution in different fungal phyla, and to explore its relevance to understanding the evolution of fungi and their taxonomic classification. We have analyzed in detail 12 subgroups of kinases and their distribution over 30 species, as well as their potential use as a classifier for members of the fungal kingdom.
Our findings show that despite the similarity of the kinase distribution in all fungi, their domain distributions and kinome density can potentially be used to classify them and give insight into their evolutionary origin. In general, we found that the overall representation of kinase groups is similar across fungal genomes, the only exception being a large number of tyrosine kinase-like (TKL) kinases predicted in Laccaria bicolor. This unexpected finding underscores the need to continue to sequence fungal genomes, since many species or lineage-specific properties may remain to be discovered. Furthermore, we found that the domain organization significantly varies between the fungal species. Our results suggest that protein kinases and their functional domains strongly reflect fungal taxonomy.
Comparison of the predicted kinomes of sequenced fungi suggests essential signaling functions common to all species, but also specific adaptations of the signal transduction networks to particular species.
Microsporidia, parasitic fungi-related eukaryotes infecting many cell types in a wide range of animals (including humans), represent a serious health threat in immunocompromised patients. The 2.9 Mb genome of the microsporidium Encephalitozoon cuniculi is the smallest known of any eukaryote. Eukaryotic protein kinases are a large superfamily of enzymes with crucial roles in most cellular processes, and therefore represent potential drug targets. We report here an exhaustive analysis of the E. cuniculi genomic database aimed at identifying and classifying all protein kinases of this organism with reference to the kinomes of two highly-divergent yeast species, Saccharomyces cerevisiae and Schizosaccharomyces pombe.
A database search with a multi-level protein kinase family hidden Markov model library led to the identification of 29 conventional protein kinase sequences in the E. cuniculi genome, as well as 3 genes encoding atypical protein kinases. The microsporidian kinome presents striking differences from those of other eukaryotes, and this minimal kinome underscores the importance of conserved protein kinases involved in essential cellular processes. ~30% of its kinases are predicted to regulate cell cycle progression while another ~28% have no identifiable homologues in model eukaryotes and are likely to reflect parasitic adaptations. E. cuniculi lacks MAP kinase cascades and almost all protein kinases that are involved in stress responses, ion homeostasis and nutrient signalling in the model fungi S. cerevisiae and S. pombe, including AMPactivated protein kinase (Snf1), previously thought to be ubiquitous in eukaryotes. A detailed database search and phylogenetic analysis of the kinomes of the two model fungi showed that the degree of homology between their kinomes of ~85% is much higher than that previously reported.
The E. cuniculi kinome is by far the smallest eukaryotic kinome characterised to date. The difficulty in assigning clear homology relationships for nine out of the twentynine microsporidian conventional protein kinases despite its compact genome reflects the phylogenetic distance between microsporidia and other eukaryotes. Indeed, the E. cuniculi genome presents a high proportion of genes in which evolution has been accelerated by up to four-fold. There are no orthologues of the protein kinases that constitute MAP kinase pathways and many other protein kinases with roles in nutrient signalling are absent from the E. cuniculi kinome. However, orthologous kinases can nonetheless be identified that correspond to members of the yeast kinomes with roles in some of the most fundamental cellular processes. For example, E. cuniculi has clear orthologues of virtually all the major conserved protein kinases that regulate the core cell cycle machinery (Aurora, Polo, DDK, CDK and Chk1). A comprehensive comparison of the homology relationships between the budding and fission yeast kinomes indicates that, despite an estimated 800 million years of independent evolution, the two model fungi share ~85% of their protein kinases. This will facilitate the annotation of many of the as yet uncharacterised fission yeast kinases, and also those of novel fungal genomes.
Motivation: Kinases of the eukaryotic protein kinase superfamily are key regulators of most aspects eukaryotic cellular behavior and have provided several drug targets including kinases dysregulated in cancers. The rapid increase in the number of genomic sequences has created an acute need to identify and classify members of this important class of enzymes efficiently and accurately.
Results: Kinannote produces a draft kinome and comparative analyses for a predicted proteome using a single line command, and it is currently the only tool that automatically classifies protein kinases using the controlled vocabulary of Hanks and Hunter [Hanks and Hunter (1995)]. A hidden Markov model in combination with a position-specific scoring matrix is used by Kinannote to identify kinases, which are subsequently classified using a BLAST comparison with a local version of KinBase, the curated protein kinase dataset from www.kinase.com. Kinannote was tested on the predicted proteomes from four divergent species. The average sensitivity and precision for kinome retrieval from the test species are 94.4 and 96.8%. The ability of Kinannote to classify identified kinases was also evaluated, and the average sensitivity and precision for full classification of conserved kinases are 71.5 and 82.5%, respectively. Kinannote has had a significant impact on eukaryotic genome annotation, providing protein kinase annotations for 36 genomes made public by the Broad Institute in the period spanning 2009 to the present.
Availability: Kinannote is freely available at http://sourceforge.net/projects/kinannote.
Supplementary data are available at Bioinformatics online.
Human protein kinases play fundamental roles mediating the majority of signal transduction pathways in eukaryotic cells as well as a multitude of other processes involved in metabolism, cell-cycle regulation, cellular shape, motility, differentiation and apoptosis. The human protein kinome contains 518 members. Most studies that focus on the human kinome require, at some point, the visualization of large amounts of data. The visualization of such data within the framework of a phylogenetic tree may help identify key relationships between different protein kinases in view of their evolutionary distance and the information used to annotate the kinome tree. For example, studies that focus on the promiscuity of kinase inhibitors can benefit from the annotations to depict binding affinities across kinase groups. Images involving the mapping of information into the kinome tree are common. However, producing such figures manually can be a long arduous process prone to errors. To circumvent this issue, we have developed a web-based tool called Kinome Render (KR) that produces customized annotations on the human kinome tree. KR allows the creation and automatic overlay of customizable text or shape-based annotations of different sizes and colors on the human kinome tree. The web interface can be accessed at: http://bcb.med.usherbrooke.ca/kinomerender. A stand-alone version is also available and can be run locally.
Annotation; Human kinome tree; Protein kinases; Data visualisation
Eukaryotic protein kinases belong to a large superfamily with hundreds to thousands of copies and are components of essentially all cellular functions. The goals of this study are to classify protein kinases from 25 plant species and to assess their evolutionary history in conjunction with consideration of their molecular functions. The protein kinase superfamily has expanded in the flowering plant lineage, in part through recent duplications. As a result, the flowering plant protein kinase repertoire, or kinome, is in general significantly larger than other eukaryotes, ranging in size from 600 to 2500 members. This large variation in kinome size is mainly due to the expansion and contraction of a few families, particularly the receptor-like kinase/Pelle family. A number of protein kinases reside in highly conserved, low copy number families and often play broadly conserved regulatory roles in metabolism and cell division, although functions of plant homologues have often diverged from their metazoan counterparts. Members of expanded plant kinase families often have roles in plant-specific processes and some may have contributed to adaptive evolution. Nonetheless, non-adaptive explanations, such as kinase duplicate subfunctionalization and insufficient time for pseudogenization, may also contribute to the large number of seemingly functional protein kinases in plants.
plant protein kinase; gene family evolution; lineage-specific expansion; comparative genomics
Oomycetes are a large group of economically and ecologically important species. Its most notorious member is Phytophthora infestans, the cause of the devastating potato late blight disease. The life cycle of P. infestans involves hyphae which differentiate into spores used for dispersal and host infection. Protein phosphorylation likely plays crucial roles in these stages, and to help understand this we present here a genome-wide analysis of the protein kinases of P. infestans and several relatives. The study also provides new insight into kinase evolution since oomycetes are taxonomically distant from organisms with well-characterized kinomes.
Bioinformatic searches of the genomes of P. infestans, P. ramorum, and P. sojae reveal they have similar kinomes, which for P. infestans contains 354 eukaryotic protein kinases (ePKs) and 18 atypical kinases (aPKs), equaling 2% of total genes. After refining gene models, most were classifiable into families seen in other eukaryotes. Some ePK families are nevertheless unusual, especially the tyrosine kinase-like (TKL) group which includes large oomycete-specific subfamilies. Also identified were two tyrosine kinases, which are rare in non-metazoans. Several ePKs bear accessory domains not identified previously on kinases, such as cyclin-dependent kinases with integral cyclin domains. Most ePKs lack accessory domains, implying that many are regulated transcriptionally. This was confirmed by mRNA expression-profiling studies that showed that two-thirds vary significantly between hyphae, sporangia, and zoospores. Comparisons to neighboring taxa (apicomplexans, ciliates, diatoms) revealed both clade-specific and conserved features, and multiple connections to plant kinases were observed. The kinome of Hyaloperonospora arabidopsidis, an oomycete with a simpler life cycle than P. infestans, was found to be one-third smaller. Some differences may be attributable to gene clustering, which facilitates subfamily expansion (or loss) through unequal crossing-over.
The large sizes of the Phytophthora kinomes imply that phosphorylation plays major roles in their life cycles. Their kinomes also include many novel ePKs, some specific to oomycetes or shared with neighboring groups. Little experimentation to date has addressed the biological functions of oomycete kinases, but this should be stimulated by the structural, evolutionary, and expression data presented here. This may lead to targets for disease control.
Hundreds of millions of people are infected with cryptosporidiosis annually, with immunocompromised individuals suffering debilitating symptoms and children in socioeconomically challenged regions at risk of repeated infections. There is currently no effective drug available. In order to facilitate the pursuit of anti-cryptosporidiosis targets and compounds, our study spans the classification of the Cryptosporidium parvum kinome and the structural and biochemical characterization of representatives from the CDPK family and a MAP kinase.
The C. parvum kinome comprises over 70 members, some of which may be promising drug targets. These C. parvum protein kinases include members in the AGC, Atypical, CaMK, CK1, CMGC, and TKL groups; however, almost 35% could only be classified as OPK (other protein kinases). In addition, about 25% of the kinases identified did not have any known orthologues outside of Cryptosporidium spp. Comparison of specific kinases with their Plasmodium falciparum and Toxoplasma gondii orthologues revealed some distinct characteristics within the C. parvum kinome, including potential targets and opportunities for drug design. Structural and biochemical analysis of 4 representatives of the CaMK group and a MAP kinase confirms features that may be exploited in inhibitor design. Indeed, screening CpCDPK1 against a library of kinase inhibitors yielded a set of the pyrazolopyrimidine derivatives (PP1-derivatives) with IC50 values of < 10 nM. The binding of a PP1-derivative is further described by an inhibitor-bound crystal structure of CpCDPK1. In addition, structural analysis of CpCDPK4 identified an unprecedented Zn-finger within the CDPK kinase domain that may have implications for its regulation.
Identification and comparison of the C. parvum protein kinases against other parasitic kinases shows how orthologue- and family-based research can be used to facilitate characterization of promising drug targets and the search for new drugs.
As one of the largest protein families, protein kinases (PKs) regulate nearly all processes within the cell and are considered important drug targets. Much research has been conducted on inhibitors for PKs, leading to a wealth of compounds that target PKs that have potential to be lead anthelmintic drugs. Identifying compounds that have already been developed to treat neglected tropical diseases is an attractive way to obtain lead compounds inexpensively that can be developed into much needed drugs, especially for use in developing countries. In this study, PKs from nematodes, hosts, and DrugBank were identified and classified into kinase families and subfamilies. Nematode proteins were placed into orthologous groups that span the phylum Nematoda. A minimal kinome for the phylum Nematoda was identified, and properties of the minimal kinome were explored. Orthologous groups from the minimal kinome were prioritized for experimental testing based on RNAi phenotype of the Caenorhabditis elegans ortholog, transcript expression over the life-cycle and anatomic expression patterns. Compounds linked to targets in DrugBank belonging to the same kinase families and subfamilies in the minimal nematode kinome were extracted. Thirty-five compounds were tested in the non-parasitic C. elegans and active compounds progressed to testing against nematode species with different modes of parasitism, the blood-feeding Haemonchus contortus and the filarial Brugia malayi. Eighteen compounds showed efficacy in C. elegans, and six compounds also showed efficacy in at least one of the parasitic species. Hypotheses regarding the pathway the compounds may target and their molecular mechanism for activity are discussed.
Parasitic nematode infection is a large global health and economic problem, infecting around 2 billion people and costing $100 billion in crops and livestock. People in developing countries often live on one dollar per day, so treatments cannot be expensive, therefore using pre-existing drugs as lead compounds provides an economical way to begin to develop affordable treatments. Protein kinases were chosen as the focus of this work due to the large number of pre-existing drugs that target them and their important role in regulating almost all activities in the cell. Herein we describe a set of protein kinases conserved in diverse nematode species and experimental screening results of pre-existing drugs that target these kinases. The compounds that show in vitro efficacy in both C. elegans and parasitic nematodes, H. contortus or B. malayi have potential to be optimized further. These compounds have potential to provide accessible treatment to people in developing countries, as well as improving the health of livestock and boosting food production globally.
Malaria parasites belong to an ancient lineage that diverged very early from the main branch of eukaryotes. The approximately 90-member plasmodial kinome includes a majority of eukaryotic protein kinases that clearly cluster within the AGC, CMGC, TKL, CaMK and CK1 groups found in yeast, plants and mammals, testifying to the ancient ancestry of these families. However, several hundred millions years of independent evolution, and the specific pressures brought about by first a photosynthetic and then a parasitic lifestyle, led to the emergence of unique features in the plasmodial kinome. These include taxon-restricted kinase families, and unique peculiarities of individual enzymes even when they have homologues in other eukaryotes. Here, we merge essential aspects of all three malaria-related communications that were presented at the Evolution of Protein Phosphorylation meeting, and propose an integrated discussion of the specific features of the parasite's kinome and phosphoproteome.
malaria; kinome; evolution; phosphoproteomics; protein kinase; comparative genomics
Reversible phosphorylation catalysed by kinases is probably the most important regulatory mechanism in eukaryotes.
We studied the in vitro phosphorylation of peptide arrays exhibiting the majority of PhosphoBase-deposited protein sequences, by factors in cell lysates from representatives of various branches of the eukaryotic species. We derived a set of substrates from the PhosphoBase whose phosphorylation by cellular extracts is common to the divergent members of different kingdoms and thus may be considered a minimal eukaryotic phosphoproteome. The protein kinases (or kinome) responsible for phosphorylation of these substrates are involved in a variety of processes such as transcription, translation, and cytoskeletal reorganisation.
These results indicate that the divergence in eukaryotic kinases is not reflected at the level of substrate phosphorylation, revealing the presence of a limited common substrate space for kinases in eukaryotes and suggests the presence of a set of kinase substrates and regulatory mechanisms in an ancestral eukaryote that has since remained constant in eukaryotic life.
Biochemical and structural analysis of two features of kinase structure, the “R-spine” and “Shell,” afford a detailed insight into the regulation of eukaryotic protein kinases.
Eukaryotic protein kinases (EPKs) regulate numerous signaling processes by phosphorylating targeted substrates through the highly conserved catalytic domain. Our previous computational studies proposed a model stating that a properly assembled nonlinear motif termed the Regulatory (R) spine is essential for catalytic activity of EPKs. Here we define the required intramolecular interactions and biochemical properties of the R-spine and the newly identified “Shell” that surrounds the R-spine using site-directed mutagenesis and various in vitro phosphoryl transfer assays using cyclic AMP-dependent protein kinase as a representative of the entire kinome. Analysis of the 172 available Apo EPK structures in the protein data bank (PDB) revealed four unique structural conformations of the R-spine that correspond with catalytic inactivation of various EPKs. Elucidating the molecular entities required for the catalytic activation of EPKs and the identification of these inactive conformations opens new avenues for the design of efficient therapeutic EPK inhibitors.
Eukaryotic protein kinases (EPKs) have a highly conserved enzymatic kinase core that is involved in the regulation of numerous cell signaling processes through the transfer of a phosphate group from adenosine triphosphate (ATP) to more than 30% of human proteins. EPKs have been implicated in numerous human diseases, including cancer, cardiovascular diseases, and diabetes, making them one of the most sought-after therapeutic drug targets. The lack of structural diversity of the active kinase core has created a bottle-neck for designing successful therapeutic inhibitors. Here we describe the intramolecular interactions required for differentiating between the active and inactive states of EPKs. Kinases contain a hydrophobic regulatory spine (“R-spine”) that is disassembled in inactive kinases, and here we define an additional hydrophobic “Shell” that surrounds one end of the R-spine. Biochemical analysis of the five nonconsecutive R-spine residues and three nonconsecutive Shell residues shows that proper assembly of the R-spine and Shell is essential for maintaining kinase activity. Structural analysis of the 172 known structures of EPKs without bound ligands led to the identification of four inactive conformations that correlate with the disassembly of the R-spine. Understanding the molecular elements involved in the regulation of kinase activity and the identification of these diverse groups of inactive conformations should aid the design of more specific therapeutic EPK inhibitors.
Motivation: Multivariate experiments applied to mammalian cells often produce lists of proteins/genes altered under treatment versus control conditions. Such lists can be projected onto prior knowledge of kinase–substrate interactions to infer the list of kinases associated with a specific protein list. By computing how the proportion of kinases, associated with a specific list of proteins/genes, deviates from an expected distribution, we can rank kinases and kinase families based on the likelihood that these kinases are functionally associated with regulating the cell under specific experimental conditions. Such analysis can assist in producing hypotheses that can explain how the kinome is involved in the maintenance of different cellular states and can be manipulated to modulate cells towards a desired phenotype.
Summary: Kinase enrichment analysis (KEA) is a web-based tool with an underlying database providing users with the ability to link lists of mammalian proteins/genes with the kinases that phosphorylate them. The system draws from several available kinase–substrate databases to compute kinase enrichment probability based on the distribution of kinase–substrate proportions in the background kinase–substrate database compared with kinases found to be associated with an input list of genes/proteins.
Availability: The KEA system is freely available at http://amp.pharm.mssm.edu/lib/kea.jsp
The growing interest in the identification of kinase inhibitors, promising therapeutics in the treatment of many diseases, has created a demand for the structural characterization of the entire human kinome. At the outset of the drug development process, the lead-finding stage, approaches that enrich the screening library with bioactive compounds are needed. Here, protein structure-based methods can play an important role, but despite structural genomics efforts, it is unlikely that the three-dimensional structures of the entire kinome will be available soon. Therefore, at the proteome level, structure-based approaches must rely on predicted models, with a key issue being their utility in virtual ligand screening. In this study, we employ the recently developed FINDSITE/Q-Dock Ligand Homology Modeling approach, which is well suited for proteome-scale applications using predicted structures, to provide extensive structural and functional characterization of the human kinome. Specifically, we construct structure models for the human kinome; these are subsequently subject to virtual screening against a library of more than 2 million compounds. To rank the compounds, we employ a hierarchical approach that combines ligand- and structure-based filters. Modeling accuracy is carefully validated using available experimental data with particularly encouraging results found for the ability to identify, without prior knowledge, specific kinase inhibitors. More generally, the modeling procedure results in a large number of predicted molecular interactions between kinases and small ligands that should be of practical use in the development of novel inhibitors. The dataset is freely available to the academic community a user-friendly web interface at http://cssb.biology.gatech.edu/kinomelhm/as well as the ZINC website (http://zinc.docking.org/applications/2010Apr/Brylinski-2010.tar.gz).
Over the last decade, several protein kinases inhibitors have reached the market for cancer chemotherapy. The kinomes of pathogens represent potentially attractive targets in infectious diseases. The functions of the majority of protein kinases of Plasmodium falciparum, the parasitic protist responsible for the most virulent form of human malaria, remain unknown. Here we present a thorough characterisation of PfTKL3 (PF13_0258), an enzyme that belongs to the tyrosine kinase-like kinase (TKL) group. We demonstrate by reverse genetics that PfTKL3 is essential for asexual parasite proliferation in human erythrocytes. PfTKL3 is expressed in both asexual and gametocytes stages, and in the latter the protein co-localises with cytoskeleton microtubules. Recombinant PfTKL3 displays in vitro autophosphorylation activity and is able to phosphorylate exogenous substrates, and both activities are dramatically dependent on the presence of an N-terminal “sterile α-motif” domain. This study identifies PfTKL3 as a validated drug target amenable to high-throughput screening.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1007/s00018-010-0434-3) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
Malaria; Protein kinase; Tyrosine kinase-like kinase; SAM domain; MORN motif; Knock-out; Plasmodium falciparum
The human kinome containing 478 eukaryotic protein kinases has over 100 uncharacterized kinases with unknown substrates and biological functions. The Ser/Thr kinase 35 (STK35, Clik1) is a member of the NKF 4 (New Kinase Family 4) in the kinome with unknown substrates and biological functions. Various high throughput studies indicate that STK35 could be involved in various human diseases such as colorectal cancer and malaria.
In this study, we found that the previously published coding sequence of the STK35 gene is incomplete. The newly identified sequence of the STK35 gene codes for a protein of 534 amino acids with a N-terminal elongation of 133 amino acids. It has been designated as STK35L (STK35 long). Since it is the first of further homologous kinases we termed it as STK35L1. The STK35L1 protein (58 kDa on SDS-PAGE), but not STK35 (44 kDa), was found to be expressed in all human cells studied (endothelial cells, HeLa, and HEK cells) and was down-regulated after silencing with specific siRNA. EGFP-STK35L1 was localized in the nucleus and the nucleolus. By combining syntenic and gene structure pattern data and homology searches, two further STK35L1 homologs, STK35L2 (previously known as PDIK1L) and STK35L3, were found. All these protein kinase homologs were conserved throughout the vertebrates. The STK35L3 gene was specifically lost during placental mammalian evolution. Using comparative genomics, we have identified orthologous sets of these three protein kinases genes and their possible ancestor gene in two sea squirt genomes.
We found the full-length coding sequence of the STK35 gene and termed it as STK35L1. We identified a new third STK35-like gene, STK35L3, in vertebrates and a possible ancestor gene in sea squirt genome. This study will provide a comprehensive platform to explore the role of STK35L kinases in cell functions and human diseases.
Bacterial tyrosine-kinases share no resemblance with their eukaryotic counterparts and they have been unified in a new protein family named BY-kinases. These enzymes have been shown to control several biological functions in the bacterial cells. In recent years biochemical studies, sequence analyses and structure resolutions allowed the deciphering of a common signature. However, BY-kinase sequence annotations in primary databases remain incomplete. This prompted us to develop a specialized database of computer-annotated BY-kinase sequences: the Bacterial protein tyrosine-kinase database (BYKdb). BY-kinase sequences are first identified, thanks to a workflow developed in a previous work. A second workflow annotates the UniProtKB entries in order to provide the BYKdb entries. The database can be accessed through a web interface that allows static and dynamic queries and offers integrated sequence analysis tools. BYKdb can be found at http://bykdb.ibcp.fr.
The major human intestinal pathogen Giardia lamblia is a very early branching eukaryote with a minimal genome of broad evolutionary and biological interest.
To explore early kinase evolution and regulation of Giardia biology, we cataloged the kinomes of three sequenced strains. Comparison with published kinomes and those of the excavates Trichomonas vaginalis and Leishmania major shows that Giardia's 80 core kinases constitute the smallest known core kinome of any eukaryote that can be grown in pure culture, reflecting both its early origin and secondary gene loss. Kinase losses in DNA repair, mitochondrial function, transcription, splicing, and stress response reflect this reduced genome, while the presence of other kinases helps define the kinome of the last common eukaryotic ancestor. Immunofluorescence analysis shows abundant phospho-staining in trophozoites, with phosphotyrosine abundant in the nuclei and phosphothreonine and phosphoserine in distinct cytoskeletal organelles. The Nek kinase family has been massively expanded, accounting for 198 of the 278 protein kinases in Giardia. Most Neks are catalytically inactive, have very divergent sequences and undergo extensive duplication and loss between strains. Many Neks are highly induced during development. We localized four catalytically active Neks to distinct parts of the cytoskeleton and one inactive Nek to the cytoplasm.
The reduced kinome of Giardia sheds new light on early kinase evolution, and its highly divergent sequences add to the definition of individual kinase families as well as offering specific drug targets. Giardia's massive Nek expansion may reflect its distinctive lifestyle, biphasic life cycle and complex cytoskeleton.
Protein phosphorylation and dephosphorylation (catalysed by kinases and phosphatases, respectively) are post-translational modifications that play key roles in many eukaryotic signalling pathways, and are often deregulated in a number of pathological conditions in humans. In the malaria parasite Plasmodium, functional insights into its kinome have only recently been achieved, with over half being essential for blood stage development and another 14 kinases being essential for sexual development and mosquito transmission. However, functions for any of the plasmodial protein phosphatases are unknown. Here, we use reverse genetics in the rodent malaria model, Plasmodium berghei, to examine the role of a unique protein phosphatase containing kelch-like domains (termed PPKL) from a family related to Arabidopsis BSU1. Phylogenetic analysis confirmed that the family of BSU1-like proteins including PPKL is encoded in the genomes of land plants, green algae and alveolates, but not in other eukaryotic lineages. Furthermore, PPKL was observed in a distinct family, separate to the most closely-related phosphatase family, PP1. In our genetic approach, C-terminal GFP fusion with PPKL showed an active protein phosphatase preferentially expressed in female gametocytes and ookinetes. Deletion of the endogenous ppkl gene caused abnormal ookinete development and differentiation, and dissociated apical microtubules from the inner-membrane complex, generating an immotile phenotype and failure to invade the mosquito mid-gut epithelium. These observations were substantiated by changes in localisation of cytoskeletal tubulin and actin, and the micronemal protein CTRP in the knockout mutant as assessed by indirect immunofluorescence. Finally, increased mRNA expression of dozi, a RNA helicase vital to zygote development was observed in ppkl− mutants, with global phosphorylation studies of ookinete differentiation from 1.5–24 h post-fertilisation indicating major changes in the first hours of zygote development. Our work demonstrates a stage-specific essentiality of the unique PPKL enzyme, which modulates parasite differentiation, motility and transmission.
Malaria parasites are single-celled organisms, which alternate their life-cycle between vertebrate and mosquito hosts. In the mosquito, the malaria parasite undergoes sexual development, whereby a male and female gamete fuse to form a zygote. This zygote then elongates into an invasive stage, termed an ookinete, which can glide to and penetrate the mosquito's gut wall in order to form a cyst (called an oocyst). Protein phosphorylation is known to play a vital role during this process; however, the role of Plasmodium kinases (which phosphorylate proteins) during zygote/ookinete maturation is better understood than the completely uncharacterised plasmodial phosphatases (which dephosphorylate proteins). Using a malaria parasite which infects mice, Plasmodium berghei, we show that a unique protein phosphatase containing kelch-like domains (called PPKL) plays a vital role in ookinete maturation and motility. Deleting this gene produces ookinetes whose shape is grossly abnormal, resulting in non-motile parasites that cannot penetrate the lining of the mosquito gut wall. Overall, PPKL is an essential phosphatase that is critical to ookinete development, motility and invasion.
As in other eukaryotes, protein kinases play major regulatory roles in filamentous fungi. Although the genomes of many plant pathogenic fungi have been sequenced, systematic characterization of their kinomes has not been reported. The wheat scab fungus Fusarium graminearum has 116 protein kinases (PK) genes. Although twenty of them appeared to be essential, we generated deletion mutants for the other 96 PK genes, including 12 orthologs of essential genes in yeast. All of the PK mutants were assayed for changes in 17 phenotypes, including growth, conidiation, pathogenesis, stress responses, and sexual reproduction. Overall, deletion of 64 PK genes resulted in at least one of the phenotypes examined, including three mutants blocked in conidiation and five mutants with increased tolerance to hyperosmotic stress. In total, 42 PK mutants were significantly reduced in virulence or non-pathogenic, including mutants deleted of key components of the cAMP signaling and three MAPK pathways. A number of these PK genes, including Fg03146 and Fg04770 that are unique to filamentous fungi, are dispensable for hyphal growth and likely encode novel fungal virulence factors. Ascospores play a critical role in the initiation of wheat scab. Twenty-six PK mutants were blocked in perithecia formation or aborted in ascosporogenesis. Additional 19 mutants were defective in ascospore release or morphology. Interestingly, F. graminearum contains two aurora kinase genes with distinct functions, which has not been reported in fungi. In addition, we used the interlog approach to predict the PK-PK and PK-protein interaction networks of F. graminearum. Several predicted interactions were verified with yeast two-hybrid or co-immunoprecipitation assays. To our knowledge, this is the first functional characterization of the kinome in plant pathogenic fungi. Protein kinase genes important for various aspects of growth, developmental, and infection processes in F. graminearum were identified in this study.
Fusarium head blight caused by Fusarium graminearum is one of the most important diseases on wheat and barley. Although protein kinases are known to play major regulatory roles in fungi, systematic characterization of fungal kinomes has not been reported in plant pathogens. In this study we generated deletion mutants for 96 protein kinase genes. All of the resulting knockout mutants were assayed for changes in 17 phenotypes, including growth, reproduction, stress responses, and plant infection. Overall, deletion of 64 kinase genes resulted in at least one of the phenotypes examined. In total, 42 kinase mutants were significantly reduced in virulence or non-pathogenic. A number of these protein kinase genes, including two that are unique to filamentous fungi, are dispensable for hyphal growth and likely encode novel fungal virulence factors. Ascospores are the primary inoculum for wheat scab. We identified 26 mutants blocked in ascospore. We also used the in silico approach to predict the kinase-kinase interactions and verified some of them by yeast two-hybrid or co-IP assays. Overall, in this study we functionally characterize the kinome of F. graminearum. Protein kinase genes that are important for various aspects of growth, developmental, and plant infection processes were identified.
Plants and animals mediate early steps of the innate immune response through pathogen recognition receptors (PRRs). PRRs commonly associate with or contain members of a monophyletic group of kinases called the interleukin-1 receptor-associated kinase (IRAK) family that include Drosophila Pelle, human IRAKs, rice XA21 and Arabidopsis FLS2. In mammals, PRRs can also associate with members of the receptor-interacting protein (RIP) kinase family, distant relatives to the IRAK family. Some IRAK and RIP family kinases fall into a small functional class of kinases termed non-RD, many of which do not autophosphorylate the activation loop. We surveyed the yeast, fly, worm, human, Arabidopsis, and rice kinomes (3,723 kinases) and found that despite the small number of non-RD kinases in these genomes (9%–29%), 12 of 15 kinases known or predicted to function in PRR signaling fall into the non-RD class. These data indicate that kinases associated with PRRs can largely be predicted by the lack of a single conserved residue and reveal new potential plant PRR subfamilies.
Animal and plant innate immune systems use a set of similar receptors to recognize disease-causing microbes. These receptors function in pathogen surveillance and are located either at the cell surface or inside the cell. They provide a first line of defense against pathogen attack and rapidly activate defense signaling pathways following infection. Key to their ability to respond to pathogens, a closely related family of proteins called kinases either associate with these receptors or are present as part of the receptors themselves. These kinases face two challenges. The signals must be carefully modulated, as misregulation can result in disease and overall poor health. Second, these signaling systems must be resilient to attempts by pathogens to interfere with and block defense responses. The researchers have found that the kinases that are linked to pathogen receptors and initiate innate immune responses contain an alteration within a critical functional domain of the kinase that is not commonly found in similar kinases that control nondefense pathways. While the exact impact these changes have on kinase function is unclear, these findings provide insight into how these kinases may have evolved to compensate for the unique challenges they face. Moreover, they provide a predictive tool for identifying new candidate kinases that control innate immune responses.
Kinase domains are the type of protein domain most commonly found in genes associated with tumorigenesis. Because of this, the human kinome (the protein kinase component of the genome) represents a promising source of cancer biomarkers and potential targets for novel anti-cancer therapies. Alterations in the human colon kinome during the progression from normal colon (NC) through adenoma (AD) to adenocarcinoma (AC) were investigated using integrated transcriptomic and proteomic datasets. Two hundred thirty kinase genes and 42 kinase proteins showed differential expression patterns (fold change ≥ 1.5) in at least one tissue pair-wise comparison (AD vs. NC, AC vs. NC, and/or AC vs. AD). Kinases that exhibited similar trends in expression at both the mRNA and protein levels were further analyzed in individual samples of NC (n = 20), AD (n = 39), and AC (n = 24) by quantitative reverse transcriptase PCR. Individual samples of NC and tumor tissue were distinguishable based on the mRNA levels of a set of 20 kinases. Altered expression of several of these kinases, including chaperone activity of bc1 complex-like (CABC1) kinase, bromodomain adjacent to zinc finger domain protein 1B (BAZ1B) kinase, calcium/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase type II subunit delta (CAMK2D), serine/threonine-protein kinase 24 (STK24), vaccinia-related kinase 3 (VRK3), and TAO kinase 3 (TAOK3), has not been previously reported in tumor tissue. These findings may have diagnostic potential and may lead to the development of novel targeted therapeutic interventions for colorectal cancer.
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The online version of this article (doi:10.1007/s00109-011-0831-6) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
Protein kinase; Colorectal cancer; Transcriptomics; Proteomics; TAOK3
Many drug candidates fail in clinical development due to their insufficient selectivity that may cause undesired side effects. Therefore, modern drug discovery is routinely supported by computational techniques, which can identify alternate molecular targets with a significant potential for cross-reactivity. In particular, the development of highly selective kinase inhibitors is complicated by the strong conservation of the ATP-binding site across the kinase family. In this paper, we describe X-ReactKIN, a new machine learning approach that extends the modeling and virtual screening of individual protein kinases to a system level in order to construct a cross-reactivity virtual profile for the human kinome. To maximize the coverage of the kinome, X-ReactKIN relies solely on the predicted target structures and employs state-of-the-art modeling techniques. Benchmark tests carried out against available selectivity data from high-throughput kinase profiling experiments demonstrate that for almost 70% of the inhibitors, their alternate molecular targets can be effectively identified in the human kinome with a high (>0.5) sensitivity at the expense of a relatively low false positive rate (<0.5). Furthermore, in a case study, we demonstrate how X-ReactKIN can support the development of selective inhibitors by optimizing the selection of kinase targets for small-scale counter-screen experiments. The constructed cross-reactivity profiles for the human kinome are freely available to the academic community at http://cssb.biology.gatech.edu/kinomelhm/
X-ReactKIN; human kinome; kinase functional space; kinome structural coverage; kinase inhibitors; drug development; drug off-targets; Chemical Systems Biology
The heat shock protein 90 (Hsp90) is required for the stability of many signalling kinases. As a target for cancer therapy it allows the simultaneous inhibition of several signalling pathways. However, its inhibition in healthy cells could also lead to severe side effects. This is the first comprehensive analysis of the response to Hsp90 inhibition at the kinome level.
We quantitatively profiled the effects of Hsp90 inhibition by geldanamycin on the kinome of one primary (Hs68) and three tumour cell lines (SW480, U2OS, A549) by affinity proteomics based on immobilized broad spectrum kinase inhibitors ("kinobeads"). To identify affected pathways we used the KEGG (Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes) pathway classification. We combined Hsp90 and proteasome inhibition to identify Hsp90 substrates in Hs68 and SW480 cells. The mutational status of kinases from the used cell lines was determined using next-generation sequencing. A mutation of Hsp90 candidate client RIPK2 was mapped onto its structure.
We measured relative abundances of > 140 protein kinases from the four cell lines in response to geldanamycin treatment and identified many new potential Hsp90 substrates. These kinases represent diverse families and cellular functions, with a strong representation of pathways involved in tumour progression like the BMP, MAPK and TGF-beta signalling cascades. Co-treatment with the proteasome inhibitor MG132 enabled us to classify 64 kinases as true Hsp90 clients. Finally, mutations in 7 kinases correlate with an altered response to Hsp90 inhibition. Structural modelling of the candidate client RIPK2 suggests an impact of the mutation on a proposed Hsp90 binding domain.
We propose a high confidence list of Hsp90 kinase clients, which provides new opportunities for targeted and combinatorial cancer treatment and diagnostic applications.
The changes in signal transduction associated with the acquisition of specific cell fates remain poorly understood. We performed massive parallel assessment of kinase signatures of the radiations of the hematopoietic system, including long-term repopulating hematopoietic stem cells (LT-HSC), short-term repopulating HSC (ST-HSC), immature natural killer (iNK) cells, NK cells, B cells, T cells and myeloid cells. The LT-HSC kinome is characterised by non-canonical Wnt, Ca2+ and classical protein kinase C (PKC)-driven signalling, which is lost upon the transition to ST-HSC, whose kinome signature prominently features receptor tyrosine kinase (RTK) activation of the Ras/MAPK signalling cassette. Further differentiation to iNK maintains signalling through this cassette but simultaneously leads to activation of a PI3K/PKB/Rac signalling, which becomes the dominant trait in the kinase signature following full differentiation towards NK cells. Differentiation along the myeloid and B cell lineages is accompanied by hyperactivation of both the Ras/MAPK and PI3K/PKB/Rac signalling cassette. T cells, however, deactivate signalling and only display residual G protein-coupled pathways. Thus, differentiation along the hematopoietic lineage is associated with major remodelling of cellular kinase signature.