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J Biol Chem. 1999 Mar 26;274(13):8391-404.

Cyclic AMP- and cyclic GMP-dependent protein kinases differ in their regulation of cyclic AMP response element-dependent gene transcription.

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  • 1Department of Biological Chemistry and the Mental Health Research Institute, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan 48109, USA.


The ability of cGMP-dependent protein kinases (cGKs) to activate cAMP response element (CRE)-dependent gene transcription was compared with that of cAMP-dependent protein kinases (cAKs). Although both the type Ibeta cGMP-dependent protein kinase (cGKIbeta) and the type II cAMP-dependent protein kinase (cAKII) phosphorylated the cytoplasmic substrate VASP (vasodilator- and A kinase-stimulated phosphoprotein) to a similar extent, cyclic nucleotide regulation of CRE-dependent transcription was at least 10-fold higher in cAKII-transfected cells than in cGKIbeta-transfected cells. Overexpression of each kinase in mammalian cells resulted in a cytoplasmic localization of the unactivated enzyme. As reported previously, the catalytic (C) subunit of cAKII translocated to the nucleus following activation by 8-bromo-cyclic AMP. However, cGKIbeta did not translocate to the nucleus upon activation by 8-bromo-cyclic GMP. Replacement of an autophosphorylated serine (Ser79) of cGKIbeta with an aspartic acid resulted in a mutant kinase with constitutive kinase activity in vitro and in vivo. The cGKIbetaS79D mutant localized to the cytoplasm and was only a weak activator of CRE-dependent gene transcription. However, an amino-terminal deletion mutant of cGKIbeta was found in the nucleus as well as the cytoplasm and was a strong activator of CRE-dependent gene transcription. These data suggest that the inability of cGKs to translocate to the nucleus is responsible for the differential ability of cAKs and cGKs to activate CRE-dependent gene transcription and that nuclear redistribution of cGKs is not required for NO/cGMP regulation of gene transcription.

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