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author:("motrice, Nick")
1.  Polo-like kinase 1 (PLK1) and protein phosphatase 6 (PP6) regulate DNA-dependent protein kinase catalytic subunit (DNA-PKcs) phosphorylation in mitosis 
Bioscience Reports  2014;34(3):e00113.
The protein kinase activity of the DNA-PKcs (DNA-dependent protein kinase catalytic subunit) and its autophosphorylation are critical for DBS (DNA double-strand break) repair via NHEJ (non-homologous end-joining). Recent studies have shown that depletion or inactivation of DNA-PKcs kinase activity also results in mitotic defects. DNA-PKcs is autophosphorylated on Ser2056, Thr2647 and Thr2609 in mitosis and phosphorylated DNA-PKcs localize to centrosomes, mitotic spindles and the midbody. DNA-PKcs also interacts with PP6 (protein phosphatase 6), and PP6 has been shown to dephosphorylate Aurora A kinase in mitosis. Here we report that DNA-PKcs is phosphorylated on Ser3205 and Thr3950 in mitosis. Phosphorylation of Thr3950 is DNA-PK-dependent, whereas phosphorylation of Ser3205 requires PLK1 (polo-like kinase 1). Moreover, PLK1 phosphorylates DNA-PKcs on Ser3205 in vitro and interacts with DNA-PKcs in mitosis. In addition, PP6 dephosphorylates DNA-PKcs at Ser3205 in mitosis and after IR (ionizing radiation). DNA-PKcs also phosphorylates Chk2 on Thr68 in mitosis and both phosphorylation of Chk2 and autophosphorylation of DNA-PKcs in mitosis occur in the apparent absence of Ku and DNA damage. Our findings provide mechanistic insight into the roles of DNA-PKcs and PP6 in mitosis and suggest that DNA-PKcs’ role in mitosis may be mechanistically distinct from its well-established role in NHEJ.
PLK1 (polo-like kinase 1) phosphorylates and PP6 (protein phosphatase 6) dephosphorylates DNA-PKcs (DNA-dependent protein kinase catalytic subunit) in mitosis. DNA-PKcs autophosphorylation and DNA-PKcs dependent phosphorylation of Chk2 in mitosis occur in the absence of Ku and DNA damage.
PMCID: PMC4069685  PMID: 24844881
DNA-dependent protein kinase; midbody; mitosis; polo-like protein kinase 1; protein phosphatase 6; ATM, ataxia telangiectasia mutated; Chk2, checkpoint kinase 2; DMEM, Dulbecco’s modified Eagle’s medium; DNA-PKcs, DNA-dependent protein kinase catalytic subunit; DAPI, 4′,6-diamidino-2-phenylindole; DSB, DNA double-strand break; FHA, forkhead associated; GFP, green fluorescent protein; IR, ionizing radiation; MEM, Minimum Essential Medium Alpha; NHEJ, non-homologous end-joining; PIPES, 1,4-piperazinediethanesulfonic acid; PLK1, polo-like kinase-1; PP6, protein phosphatase 6; siRNA, small interfering RNA; TPX2, targeting protein for Xklp2
2.  IκB Kinase 2 Regulates TPL-2 Activation of Extracellular Signal-Regulated Kinases 1 and 2 by Direct Phosphorylation of TPL-2 Serine 400 
Molecular and Cellular Biology  2012;32(22):4684-4690.
Tumor progression locus 2 (TPL-2) functions as a MEK-1/2 kinase, which is essential for Toll-like receptor 4 (TLR4) activation of extracellular signal-regulated kinase 1 and 2 (ERK-1/2) mitogen-activated protein (MAP) kinases in lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-stimulated macrophages and for inducing the production of the proinflammatory cytokines tumor necrosis factor and interleukin-1β. In unstimulated cells, association of TPL-2 with NF-κB1 p105 prevents TPL-2 phosphorylation of MEK-1/2. LPS stimulation of TPL-2 MEK-1/2 kinase activity requires TPL-2 release from p105. This is triggered by IκB kinase 2 (IKK-2) phosphorylation of the p105 PEST region, which promotes p105 ubiquitination and degradation by the proteasome. LPS activation of ERK-1/2 additionally requires transphosphorylation of TPL-2 on serine 400 in its C terminus, which controls TPL-2 signaling to ERK-1/2 independently of p105. However, the identity of the protein kinase responsible for TPL-2 serine 400 phosphorylation remained unknown. In the present study, we show that TPL-2 serine 400 phosphorylation is mediated by IKK2. The IKK complex therefore regulates two of the key regulatory steps required for TPL-2 activation of ERK-1/2, underlining the close linkage of ERK-1/2 MAP kinase activation to upregulation of NF-κB-dependent transcription.
PMCID: PMC3486174  PMID: 22988300
3.  Identification of the Amino Acids 300–600 of IRS-2 as 14-3-3 Binding Region with the Importance of IGF-1/Insulin-Regulated Phosphorylation of Ser-573 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(8):e43296.
Phosphorylation of insulin receptor substrate (IRS)-2 on tyrosine residues is a key event in IGF-1/insulin signaling and leads to activation of the PI 3-kinase and the Ras/MAPK pathway. Furthermore, phosphorylated serine/threonine residues on IRS-2 can induce 14-3-3 binding. In this study we searched IRS-2 for novel phosphorylation sites and investigated the interaction between IRS-2 and 14-3-3. Mass spectrometry identified a total of 24 serine/threonine residues on IRS-2 with 12 sites unique for IRS-2 while the other residues are conserved in IRS-1 and IRS-2. IGF-1 stimulation led to increased binding of 14-3-3 to IRS-2 in transfected HEK293 cells and this binding was prevented by inhibition of the PI 3-kinase pathway and an Akt/PKB inhibitor. Insulin-stimulated interaction between endogenous IRS-2 and 14-3-3 was observed in rat hepatoma cells and in mice liver after an acute insulin stimulus and refeeding. Using different IRS-2 fragments enabled localization of the IGF-1-dependent 14-3-3 binding region spanning amino acids 300–600. The 24 identified residues on IRS-2 included several 14-3-3 binding candidates in the region 300–600. Single alanine mutants of these candidates led to the identification of serine 573 as 14-3-3 binding site. A phospho-site specific antibody was generated to further characterize serine 573. IGF-1-dependent phosphorylation of serine 573 was reduced by inhibition of PI 3-kinase and Akt/PKB. A negative role of this phosphorylation site was implicated by the alanine mutant of serine 573 which led to enhanced phosphorylation of Akt/PKB in an IGF-1 time course experiment. To conclude, our data suggest a physiologically relevant role for IGF-1/insulin-dependent 14-3-3 binding to IRS-2 involving serine 573.
PMCID: PMC3422239  PMID: 22912850
4.  Isolation of Human Mitotic Protein Phosphatase Complexes: Identification of a Complex between Protein Phosphatase 1 and the RNA Helicase Ddx21 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(6):e39510.
Metazoan mitosis requires remodelling of sub-cellular structures to ensure proper division of cellular and genetic material. Faults often lead to genomic instability, cell cycle arrests and disease onset. These key structural changes are under tight spatial-temporal and post-translational control, with crucial roles for reversible protein phosphorylation. The phosphoprotein phosphatases PP1 and PP2A are paramount for the timely execution of mitotic entry and exit but their interaction partners and substrates are still largely unresolved. High throughput, mass-spectrometry based studies have limited sensitivity for the detection of low-abundance and transient complexes, a typical feature of many protein phosphatase complexes. Moreover, the limited timeframe during which mitosis takes place reduces the likelihood of identifying mitotic phosphatase complexes in asynchronous cells. Hence, numerous mitotic protein phosphatase complexes still await identification. Here we present a strategy to enrich and identify serine/threonine protein phosphatase complexes at the mitotic spindle. We thus identified a nucleolar RNA helicase, Ddx21/Gu, as a novel, direct PP1 interactor. Furthermore, our results place PP1 within the toposome, a Topoisomerase II alpha (TOPOIIα) containing complex with a key role in mitotic chromatin regulation and cell cycle progression, possibly via regulated protein phosphorylation. This study provides a strategy for the identification of further mitotic PP1 partners and the unravelling of PP1 functions during mitosis.
PMCID: PMC3386289  PMID: 22761809
5.  Phosphoproteomic analysis reveals an intrinsic pathway for histone deacetylase 7 regulation that controls cytotoxic T lymphocyte function 
Nature immunology  2011;12(4):352-361.
The present study reports an unbiased analysis of cytotoxic T cell serine-threonine phosphoproteome using high resolution mass spectrometry. Approximately 2,000 phosphorylations were identified in CTLs of which approximately 450 were controlled by TCR signaling. A significantly overrepresented group of molecules identified were transcription activators, co-repressors and chromatin regulators. A focus on chromatin regulators revealed that CTLs have high expression of histone deacetylase HDAC7 but continually phosphorylate and export this transcriptional repressor from the nucleus. HDAC7 dephosphorylation results in its nuclear accumulation and suppressed expression of genes encoding key cytokines, cytokine receptors and adhesion molecules that determine CTL function. The screening of CTL phosphoproteome thus reveals intrinsic pathways of serine-threonine phosphorylation that target chromatin regulators and determine the CTL functional program.
PMCID: PMC3110993  PMID: 21399638
6.  Phosphorylation of polynucleotide kinase/ phosphatase by DNA-dependent protein kinase and ataxia-telangiectasia mutated regulates its association with sites of DNA damage 
Nucleic Acids Research  2011;39(21):9224-9237.
Human polynucleotide kinase/phosphatase (PNKP) is a dual specificity 5′-DNA kinase/3′-DNA phosphatase, with roles in base excision repair, DNA single-strand break repair and non-homologous end joining (NHEJ); yet precisely how PNKP functions in the repair of DNA double strand breaks (DSBs) remains unclear. We demonstrate that PNKP is phosphorylated by the DNA-dependent protein kinase (DNA-PK) and ataxia-telangiectasia mutated (ATM) in vitro. The major phosphorylation site for both kinases was serine 114, with serine 126 being a minor site. Ionizing radiation (IR)-induced phosphorylation of cellular PNKP on S114 was ATM dependent, whereas phosphorylation of PNKP on S126 required both ATM and DNA-PK. Inactivation of DNA-PK and/or ATM led to reduced PNKP at DNA damage sites in vivo. Cells expressing PNKP with alanine or aspartic acid at serines 114 and 126 were modestly radiosensitive and IR enhanced the association of PNKP with XRCC4 and DNA ligase IV; however, this interaction was not affected by mutation of PNKP phosphorylation sites. Purified PNKP protein with mutation of serines 114 and 126 had decreased DNA kinase and DNA phosphatase activities and reduced affinity for DNA in vitro. Together, our results reveal that IR-induced phosphorylation of PNKP by ATM and DNA-PK regulates PNKP function at DSBs.
PMCID: PMC3241656  PMID: 21824916
7.  Differential 14-3-3 Affinity Capture Reveals New Downstream Targets of Phosphatidylinositol 3-Kinase Signaling* 
We devised a strategy of 14-3-3 affinity capture and release, isotope differential (d0/d4) dimethyl labeling of tryptic digests, and phosphopeptide characterization to identify novel targets of insulin/IGF1/phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase signaling. Notably four known insulin-regulated proteins (PFK-2, PRAS40, AS160, and MYO1C) had high d0/d4 values meaning that they were more highly represented among 14-3-3-binding proteins from insulin-stimulated than unstimulated cells. Among novel candidates, insulin receptor substrate 2, the proapoptotic CCDC6, E3 ubiquitin ligase ZNRF2, and signaling adapter SASH1 were confirmed to bind to 14-3-3s in response to IGF1/phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase signaling. Insulin receptor substrate 2, ZNRF2, and SASH1 were also regulated by phorbol ester via p90RSK, whereas CCDC6 and PRAS40 were not. In contrast, the actin-associated protein vasodilator-stimulated phosphoprotein and lipolysis-stimulated lipoprotein receptor, which had low d0/d4 scores, bound 14-3-3s irrespective of IGF1 and phorbol ester. Phosphorylated Ser19 of ZNRF2 (RTRAYpS19GS), phospho-Ser90 of SASH1 (RKRRVpS90QD), and phospho- Ser493 of lipolysis-stimulated lipoprotein receptor (RPRARpS493LD) provide one of the 14-3-3-binding sites on each of these proteins. Differential 14-3-3 capture provides a powerful approach to defining downstream regulatory mechanisms for specific signaling pathways.
PMCID: PMC2773716  PMID: 19648646
8.  Identifying specific protein interaction partners using quantitative mass spectrometry and bead proteomes 
The Journal of Cell Biology  2008;183(2):223-239.
The identification of interaction partners in protein complexes is a major goal in cell biology. Here we present a reliable affinity purification strategy to identify specific interactors that combines quantitative SILAC-based mass spectrometry with characterization of common contaminants binding to affinity matrices (bead proteomes). This strategy can be applied to affinity purification of either tagged fusion protein complexes or endogenous protein complexes, illustrated here using the well-characterized SMN complex as a model. GFP is used as the tag of choice because it shows minimal nonspecific binding to mammalian cell proteins, can be quantitatively depleted from cell extracts, and allows the integration of biochemical protein interaction data with in vivo measurements using fluorescence microscopy. Proteins binding nonspecifically to the most commonly used affinity matrices were determined using quantitative mass spectrometry, revealing important differences that affect experimental design. These data provide a specificity filter to distinguish specific protein binding partners in both quantitative and nonquantitative pull-down and immunoprecipitation experiments.
PMCID: PMC2568020  PMID: 18936248
9.  Checkpoint-dependent phosphorylation of Exo1 modulates the DNA damage response 
The EMBO Journal  2008;27(18):2400-2410.
Exo1 is a nuclease involved in mismatch repair, DSB repair, stalled replication fork processing and in the DNA damage response triggered by dysfunctional telomeres. In budding yeast and mice, Exo1 creates single-stranded DNA (ssDNA) at uncapped telomeres. This ssDNA accumulation activates the checkpoint response resulting in cell cycle arrest. Here, we demonstrate that Exo1 is phosphorylated when telomeres are uncapped in cdc13-1 and yku70Δ yeast cells, and in response to the induction of DNA damage. After telomere uncapping, Exo1 phosphorylation depends on components of the checkpoint machinery such as Rad24, Rad17, Rad9, Rad53 and Mec1, but is largely independent of Chk1, Tel1 and Dun1. Serines S372, S567, S587 and S692 of Exo1 were identified as targets for phosphorylation. Furthermore, mutation of these Exo1 residues altered the DNA damage response to uncapped telomeres and camptothecin treatment, in a manner that suggests Exo1 phosphorylation inhibits its activity. We propose that Rad53-dependent Exo1 phosphorylation is involved in a negative feedback loop to limit ssDNA accumulation and DNA damage checkpoint activation.
PMCID: PMC2532783  PMID: 18756267
cdc13-1; checkpoint; Exo1; phosphorylation; telomere
10.  Massive Autophosphorylation of the Ser/Thr-Rich Domain Controls Protein Kinase Activity of TRPM6 and TRPM7 
PLoS ONE  2008;3(3):e1876.
TRPM6 and TRPM7 are bifunctional proteins expressing a TRP channel fused to an atypical α-kinase domain. While the gating properties of TRPM6 and TRPM7 channels have been studied in detail, little is known about the mechanisms regulating kinase activity. Recently, we found that TRPM7 associates with its substrate myosin II via a kinase-dependent mechanism suggesting a role for autophosphorylation in substrate recognition. Here, we demonstrate that the cytosolic C-terminus of TRPM7 undergoes massive autophosphorylation (32±4 mol/mol), which strongly increases the rate of substrate phosphorylation. Phosphomapping by mass spectrometry indicates that the majority of autophosphorylation sites (37 out of 46) map to a Ser/Thr-rich region immediately N-terminal of the catalytic domain. Deletion of this region prevents substrate phosphorylation without affecting intrinsic catalytic activity suggesting that the Ser/Thr-rich domain contributes to substrate recognition. Surprisingly, the TRPM6-kinase is regulated by an analogous mechanism despite a lack of sequence conservation with the TRPM7 Ser/Thr-rich domain. In conclusion, our findings support a model where massive autophosphorylation outside the catalytic domain of TRPM6 and TRPM7 may facilitate kinase-substrate interactions leading to enhanced phosphorylation of those substrates.
PMCID: PMC2267223  PMID: 18365021
11.  Proteomic screen in the simple metazoan Hydra identifies 14-3-3 binding proteins implicated in cellular metabolism, cytoskeletal organisation and Ca2+ signalling 
BMC Cell Biology  2007;8:31.
14-3-3 proteins have been implicated in many signalling mechanisms due to their interaction with Ser/Thr phosphorylated target proteins. They are evolutionarily well conserved in eukaryotic organisms from single celled protozoans and unicellular algae to plants and humans. A diverse array of target proteins has been found in higher plants and in human cell lines including proteins involved in cellular metabolism, apoptosis, cytoskeletal organisation, secretion and Ca2+ signalling.
We found that the simple metazoan Hydra has four 14-3-3 isoforms. In order to investigate whether the diversity of 14-3-3 target proteins is also conserved over the whole animal kingdom we isolated 14-3-3 binding proteins from Hydra vulgaris using a 14-3-3-affinity column. We identified 23 proteins that covered most of the above-mentioned groups. We also isolated several novel 14-3-3 binding proteins and the Hydra specific secreted fascin-domain-containing protein PPOD. In addition, we demonstrated that one of the 14-3-3 isoforms, 14-3-3 HyA, interacts with one Hydra-Bcl-2 like protein in vitro.
Our results indicate that 14-3-3 proteins have been ubiquitous signalling components since the start of metazoan evolution. We also discuss the possibility that they are involved in the regulation of cell numbers in response to food supply in Hydra.
PMCID: PMC1964759  PMID: 17651497
12.  The DNA-Dependent Protein Kinase Catalytic Subunit Is Phosphorylated In Vivo on Threonine 3950, a Highly Conserved Amino Acid in the Protein Kinase Domain▿ †  
Molecular and Cellular Biology  2006;27(5):1581-1591.
The protein kinase activity of the DNA-dependent protein kinase (DNA-PK) is required for the repair of DNA double-strand breaks (DSBs) via the process of nonhomologous end joining (NHEJ). However, to date, the only target shown to be functionally relevant for the enzymatic role of DNA-PK in NHEJ is the large catalytic subunit DNA-PKcs itself. In vitro, autophosphorylation of DNA-PKcs induces kinase inactivation and dissociation of DNA-PKcs from the DNA end-binding component Ku70/Ku80. Phosphorylation within the two previously identified clusters of phosphorylation sites does not mediate inactivation of the assembled complex and only partially regulates kinase disassembly, suggesting that additional autophosphorylation sites may be important for DNA-PK function. Here, we show that DNA-PKcs contains a highly conserved amino acid (threonine 3950) in a region similar to the activation loop or t-loop found in the protein kinase domain of members of the typical eukaryotic protein kinase family. We demonstrate that threonine 3950 is an in vitro autophosphorylation site and that this residue, as well as other previously identified sites in the ABCDE cluster, is phosphorylated in vivo in irradiated cells. Moreover, we show that mutation of threonine 3950 to the phosphomimic aspartic acid abrogates V(D)J recombination and leads to radiation sensitivity. Together, these data suggest that threonine 3950 is a functionally important, DNA damage-inducible phosphorylation site and that phosphorylation of this site regulates the activity of DNA-PKcs.
PMCID: PMC1820444  PMID: 17158925
13.  Regulation of activity and localization of the WNK1 protein kinase by hyperosmotic stress 
The Journal of Cell Biology  2007;176(1):89-100.
Mutations within the WNK1 (with-no-K[Lys] kinase-1) gene cause Gordon's hypertension syndrome. Little is known about how WNK1 is regulated. We demonstrate that WNK1 is rapidly activated and phosphorylated at multiple residues after exposure of cells to hyperosmotic conditions and that activation is mediated by the phosphorylation of its T-loop Ser382 residue, possibly triggered by a transautophosphorylation reaction. Activation of WNK1 coincides with the phosphorylation and activation of two WNK1 substrates, namely, the protein kinases STE20/SPS1-related proline alanine–rich kinase (SPAK) and oxidative stress response kinase-1 (OSR1). Small interfering RNA depletion of WNK1 impairs SPAK/OSR1 activity and phosphorylation of residues targeted by WNK1. Hyperosmotic stress induces rapid redistribution of WNK1 from the cytosol to vesicular structures that may comprise trans-Golgi network (TGN)/recycling endosomes, as they display rapid movement, colocalize with clathrin, adaptor protein complex 1 (AP-1), and TGN46, but not the AP-2 plasma membrane–coated pit marker nor the endosomal markers EEA1, Hrs, and LAMP1. Mutational analysis suggests that the WNK1 C-terminal noncatalytic domain mediates vesicle localization. Our observations shed light on the mechanism by which WNK1 is regulated by hyperosmotic stress.
PMCID: PMC2063630  PMID: 17190791
14.  GSK-3 Phosphorylation of the Alzheimer Epitope within Collapsin Response Mediator Proteins Regulates Axon Elongation in Primary Neurons* 
The Journal of biological chemistry  2004;279(48):50176-50180.
Elevated glycogen synthase kinase-3 (GSK-3) activity is associated with Alzheimer disease. We have found that collapsin response mediator proteins (CRMP) 2 and 4 are physiological substrates of GSK-3. The amino acids targeted by GSK-3 comprise a hyperphosphorylated epitope first identified in plaques isolated from Alzheimer brain. Expression of wild type CRMP2 in primary hippocampal neurons or SH-SY5Y neuroblastoma cells promotes axon elongation. However, a GSK-3-insensitive CRMP2 mutant has dramatically reduced ability to promote axon elongation, a similar effect to pharmacological inhibition of GSK-3. Hence, we propose that phosphorylation of CRMP proteins by GSK-3 regulates axon elongation. This work provides a direct connection between hyperphosphorylation of these residues and elevated GSK-3 activity, both of which are observed in Alzheimer brain.
PMCID: PMC1832086  PMID: 15466863
15.  Extracellular Signal-regulated Kinase Mediates Phosphorylation of Tropomyosin-1 to Promote Cytoskeleton Remodeling in Response to Oxidative Stress: Impact on Membrane Blebbing 
Molecular Biology of the Cell  2003;14(4):1418-1432.
Oxidative stress induces in endothelial cells a quick and transient coactivation of both stress-activated protein kinase-2/p38 and extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) mitogen-activated protein kinases. We found that inhibiting the ERK pathway resulted, within 5 min of oxidative stress, in a misassembly of focal adhesions characterized by mislocalization of key proteins such as paxillin. The focal adhesion misassembly that followed ERK inhibition with the mitogen-activated protein kinase kinase (MEK) inhibitor PD098059 (2′-amino-3′-methoxyflavone) or with a kinase negative mutant of ERK in the presence of H2O2 resulted in a quick and intense membrane blebbing that was associated with important damage to the endothelium. We isolated by two-dimensional gel electrophoresis a PD098059-sensitive phosphoprotein of 38 kDa that we identified, by mass spectrometry, as tropomyosin-1. In fact, H2O2 induced a time-dependent phosphorylation of tropomyosin that was sensitive to inhibition by PD098059 and UO126 (1,4-diamino-2,3-dicyano-1,4-bis[2-aminophenylthio]butanediane). Tropomyosin phosphorylation was also induced by expression of a constitutively activated form of MEK1 (MEKCA), which confirms that its phosphorylation resulted from the activation of ERK. In unstimulated cells, tropomyosin-1 was found diffuse in the cells, whereas it quickly colocalized with actin and stress fibers upon stimulation of ERK by H2O2 or by expression of MEKCA. We propose that phosphorylation of tropomyosin-1 downstream of ERK by contributing to formation of actin filaments increases cellular contractility and promotes the formation of focal adhesions. Incidentally, ML-7 (1-[5iodonaphthalene-1-sulfonyl]homopiperazine, HCl), an inhibitor of cell contractility, inhibited phosphorylation of tropomyosin and blocked the formation of stress fibers and focal adhesions, which also led to membrane blebbing in the presence of oxidative stress. Our finding that tropomyosin-1 is phosphorylated downstream of ERK, an event that modulates its interaction with actin, may lead to further understanding of the role of this protein in regulating cellular functions associated with cytoskeletal remodeling.
PMCID: PMC153111  PMID: 12686598
16.  The Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinase Signal-Integrating Kinase Mnk2 Is a Eukaryotic Initiation Factor 4E Kinase with High Levels of Basal Activity in Mammalian Cells 
Molecular and Cellular Biology  2001;21(3):743-754.
The cap-binding translation initiation factor eukaryotic initiation factor 4E (eIF4E) is phosphorylated in vivo at Ser209 in response to a variety of stimuli. In this paper, we show that the mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) signal-integrating kinase Mnk2 phosphorylates eIF4E at this residue. Mnk2 binds to the scaffolding protein eIF4G, and overexpression of Mnk2 results in increased phosphorylation of endogenous eIF4E, showing that it can act as an eIF4E kinase in vivo. We have identified eight phosphorylation sites in Mnk2, of which at least three potential MAPK sites are likely to be essential for Mnk2 activity. In contrast to that of Mnk1, the activity of overexpressed Mnk2 is high under control conditions and could only be reduced substantially by a combination of PD98059 and SB203580, while the activity of endogenous Mnk2 in Swiss 3T3 cells was hardly affected upon treatment with these inhibitors. These compounds did not abolish phosphorylation of eIF4E, implying that Mnk2 may mediate phosphorylation of eIF4E in Swiss 3T3 cells. In vitro phosphorylation studies show that Mnk2 is a significantly better substrate than Mnk1 for extracellular signal-regulated kinase 2 (ERK2), p38MAPKα, and p38MAPKβ. Therefore, the high levels of activity of Mnk2 under several conditions may be explained by efficient activation of Mnk2 by low levels of activity of the upstream kinases. Interestingly, we found that the association of both Mnk1 and Mnk2 with eIF4G increased upon inhibition of the MAPK pathways while activation of ERK resulted in decreased binding to eIF4G. This might reflect a mechanism to ensure rapid, but transient, phosphorylation of eIF4E upon stimulation of the MAPK pathways.
PMCID: PMC86666  PMID: 11154262

Results 1-16 (16)