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1.  Kinase and channel activity of TRPM6 are co-ordinated by a dimerization motif and pocket interaction 
Biochemical Journal  2014;460(Pt 2):165-175.
Mutations in the gene that encodes the atypical channel-kinase TRPM6 (transient receptor potential melastatin 6) cause HSH (hypomagnesaemia with secondary hypocalcaemia), a disorder characterized by defective intestinal Mg2+ transport and impaired renal Mg2+ reabsorption. TRPM6, together with its homologue TRPM7, are unique proteins as they combine an ion channel domain with a C-terminally fused protein kinase domain. How TRPM6 channel and kinase activity are linked is unknown. Previous structural analysis revealed that TRPM7 possesses a non-catalytic dimerization motif preceding the kinase domain. This interacts with a dimerization pocket lying within the kinase domain. In the present study, we provide evidence that the dimerization motif in TRPM6 plays a critical role in regulating kinase activity as well as ion channel activity. We identify mutations within the TRPM6 dimerization motif (Leu1718 and Leu1721) or dimerization pocket (L1743A, Q1832K, A1836N, L1840A and L1919Q) that abolish dimerization and establish that these mutations inhibit protein kinase activity. We also demonstrate that kinase activity of a dimerization motif mutant can be restored by addition of a peptide encompassing the dimerization motif. Moreover, we observe that mutations that disrupt the dimerization motif and dimerization pocket interaction greatly diminish TRPM6 ion channel activity, in a manner that is independent of kinase activity. Finally, we analyse the impact on kinase activity of ten disease-causing missense mutations that lie outwith the protein kinase domain of TRPM6. This revealed that one mutation lying nearby the dimerization motif (S1754N), found previously to inhibit channel activity, abolished kinase activity. These results provide the first evidence that there is structural co-ordination between channel and kinase activity, which is mediated by the dimerization motif and pocket interaction. We discuss that modulation of this interaction could comprise a major regulatory mechanism by which TRPM6 function is controlled.
We show that TRPM6 kinase activity is linked to channel activity. This occurs through a kinase-independent mechanism involving the dimerization motif binding to a pocket within the kinase domain. A disease-causing mutation (S1754N) lying nearby the dimerization pocket inactivates kinase activity.
doi:10.1042/BJ20131639
PMCID: PMC4019984  PMID: 24650431
dimerization motif; hypomagnesaemia; ion channel; phosphorylation; protein kinase; transient receptor potential melastatin (TRPM); E, embryonic day; GAPDH, glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate dehydrogenase; HEK, human embryonic kidney; HRP, horseradish peroxidase; HSH, hypomagnesaemia with secondary hypocalcaemia; LDS, lithium dodecyl sulfate; MBP, myelin basic protein; TBST, TBS containing Tween 20; TRPM, transient receptor potential melastatin
2.  Phosphorylation of Parkin at Serine65 is essential for activation: elaboration of a Miro1 substrate-based assay of Parkin E3 ligase activity 
Open Biology  2014;4(3):130213.
Mutations in PINK1 and Parkin are associated with early-onset Parkinson's disease. We recently discovered that PINK1 phosphorylates Parkin at serine65 (Ser65) within its Ubl domain, leading to its activation in a substrate-free activity assay. We now demonstrate the critical requirement of Ser65 phosphorylation for substrate ubiquitylation through elaboration of a novel in vitro E3 ligase activity assay using full-length untagged Parkin and its putative substrate, the mitochondrial GTPase Miro1. We observe that Parkin efficiently ubiquitylates Miro1 at highly conserved lysine residues, 153, 230, 235, 330 and 572, upon phosphorylation by PINK1. We have further established an E2-ubiquitin discharge assay to assess Parkin activity and observe robust discharge of ubiquitin-loaded UbcH7 E2 ligase upon phosphorylation of Parkin at Ser65 by wild-type, but not kinase-inactive PINK1 or a Parkin Ser65Ala mutant, suggesting a possible mechanism of how Ser65 phosphorylation may activate Parkin E3 ligase activity. For the first time, to the best of our knowledge, we report the effect of Parkin disease-associated mutations in substrate-based assays using full-length untagged recombinant Parkin. Our mutation analysis indicates an essential role for the catalytic cysteine Cys431 and reveals fundamental new knowledge on how mutations may confer pathogenicity via disruption of Miro1 ubiquitylation, free ubiquitin chain formation or by impacting Parkin's ability to discharge ubiquitin from a loaded E2. This study provides further evidence that phosphorylation of Parkin at Ser65 is critical for its activation. It also provides evidence that Miro1 is a direct Parkin substrate. The assays and reagents developed in this study will be important to uncover new insights into Parkin biology as well as aid in the development of screens to identify small molecule Parkin activators for the treatment of Parkinson's disease.
doi:10.1098/rsob.130213
PMCID: PMC3971407  PMID: 24647965
Parkin; PINK1; Miro1; ubiquitin; phosphorylation; Parkinson's disease
3.  PINK1 is activated by mitochondrial membrane potential depolarization and stimulates Parkin E3 ligase activity by phosphorylating Serine 65 
Open Biology  2012;2(5):120080.
Summary
Missense mutations in PTEN-induced kinase 1 (PINK1) cause autosomal-recessive inherited Parkinson's disease (PD). We have exploited our recent discovery that recombinant insect PINK1 is catalytically active to test whether PINK1 directly phosphorylates 15 proteins encoded by PD-associated genes as well as proteins reported to bind PINK1. We have discovered that insect PINK1 efficiently phosphorylates only one of these proteins, namely the E3 ligase Parkin. We have mapped the phosphorylation site to a highly conserved residue within the Ubl domain of Parkin at Ser65. We show that human PINK1 is specifically activated by mitochondrial membrane potential (Δψm) depolarization, enabling it to phosphorylate Parkin at Ser65. We further show that phosphorylation of Parkin at Ser65 leads to marked activation of its E3 ligase activity that is prevented by mutation of Ser65 or inactivation of PINK1. We provide evidence that once activated, PINK1 autophosphorylates at several residues, including Thr257, which is accompanied by an electrophoretic mobility band-shift. These results provide the first evidence that PINK1 is activated following Δψm depolarization and suggest that PINK1 directly phosphorylates and activates Parkin. Our findings indicate that monitoring phosphorylation of Parkin at Ser65 and/or PINK1 at Thr257 represent the first biomarkers for examining activity of the PINK1-Parkin signalling pathway in vivo. Our findings also suggest that small molecule activators of Parkin that mimic the effect of PINK1 phosphorylation may confer therapeutic benefit for PD.
doi:10.1098/rsob.120080
PMCID: PMC3376738  PMID: 22724072
PINK1; Parkin; Parkinson's disease
4.  Discovery of catalytically active orthologues of the Parkinson's disease kinase PINK1: analysis of substrate specificity and impact of mutations 
Open biology  2011;1(3):110012.
Missense mutations of the phosphatase and tensin homolog (PTEN)-induced kinase 1 (PINK1) gene cause autosomal-recessive Parkinson's disease. To date, little is known about the intrinsic catalytic properties of PINK1 since the human enzyme displays such low kinase activity in vitro. We have discovered that, in contrast to mammalian PINK1, insect orthologues of PINK1 we have investigated—namely Drosophila melanogaster (dPINK1), Tribolium castaneum (TcPINK1) and Pediculus humanus corporis (PhcPINK1)—are active as judged by their ability to phosphorylate the generic substrate myelin basic protein. We have exploited the most active orthologue, TcPINK1, to assess its substrate specificity and elaborated a peptide substrate (PINKtide, KKWIpYRRSPRRR) that can be employed to quantify PINK1 kinase activity. Analysis of PINKtide variants reveal that PINK1 phosphorylates serine or threonine, but not tyrosine, and we show that PINK1 exhibits a preference for a proline at the +1 position relative to the phosphorylation site. We have also, for the first time, been able to investigate the effect of Parkinson's disease-associated PINK1 missense mutations, and found that nearly all those located within the kinase domain, as well as the C-terminal non-catalytic region, markedly suppress kinase activity. This emphasizes the crucial importance of PINK1 kinase activity in preventing the development of Parkinson's disease. Our findings will aid future studies aimed at understanding how the activity of PINK1 is regulated and the identification of physiological substrates.
doi:10.1098/rsob.110012
PMCID: PMC3352081  PMID: 22645651
biochemistry; Parkinson's disease; kinase
5.  TigarB causes mitochondrial dysfunction and neuronal loss in PINK1 deficiency 
Annals of Neurology  2014;74(6):837-847.
Objective
Loss of function mutations in PINK1 typically lead to early onset Parkinson disease (PD). Zebrafish (Danio rerio) are emerging as a powerful new vertebrate model to study neurodegenerative diseases. We used a pink1 mutant (pink−/−) zebrafish line with a premature stop mutation (Y431*) in the PINK1 kinase domain to identify molecular mechanisms leading to mitochondrial dysfunction and loss of dopaminergic neurons in PINK1 deficiency.
Methods
The effect of PINK1 deficiency on the number of dopaminergic neurons, mitochondrial function, and morphology was assessed in both zebrafish embryos and adults. Genome‐wide gene expression studies were undertaken to identify novel pathogenic mechanisms. Functional experiments were carried out to further investigate the effect of PINK1 deficiency on early neurodevelopmental mechanisms and microglial activation.
Results
PINK1 deficiency results in loss of dopaminergic neurons as well as early impairment of mitochondrial function and morphology in Danio rerio. Expression of TigarB, the zebrafish orthologue of the human, TP53‐induced glycolysis and apoptosis regulator TIGAR, was markedly increased in pink−/− larvae. Antisense‐mediated inactivation of TigarB gave rise to complete normalization of mitochondrial function, with resulting rescue of dopaminergic neurons in pink−/− larvae. There was also marked microglial activation in pink−/− larvae, but depletion of microglia failed to rescue the dopaminergic neuron loss, arguing against microglial activation being a key factor in the pathogenesis.
Interpretation
Pink1−/− zebrafish are the first vertebrate model of PINK1 deficiency with loss of dopaminergic neurons. Our study also identifies TIGAR as a promising novel target for disease‐modifying therapy in PINK1‐related PD. Ann Neurol 2013;74:837–847
doi:10.1002/ana.23999
PMCID: PMC4154126  PMID: 24027110

Results 1-5 (5)