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Development. 1999 Oct;126(19):4331-9.

Proteolysis of cubitus interruptus in Drosophila requires phosphorylation by protein kinase A.

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  • 1Department of Biological Sciences, Columbia University, New York, New York 10027, USA.

Abstract

The Hedgehog signal transduction pathway is involved in diverse patterning events in many organisms. In Drosophila, Hedgehog signaling regulates transcription of target genes by modifying the activity of the DNA-binding protein Cubitus interruptus (Ci). Hedgehog signaling inhibits proteolytic cleavage of full-length Ci (Ci-155) to Ci-75, a form that represses some target genes, and also converts the full-length form to a potent transcriptional activator. Reduction of protein kinase A (PKA) activity also leads to accumulation of full-length Ci and to ectopic expression of Hedgehog target genes, prompting the hypothesis that PKA might normally promote cleavage to Ci-75 by directly phosphorylating Ci-155. Here we show that a mutant form of Ci lacking five potential PKA phosphorylation sites (Ci5m) is not detectably cleaved to Ci-75 in Drosophila embryos. Moreover, changes in PKA activity dramatically altered levels of full-length wild-type Ci in embryos and imaginal discs, but did not significantly alter full-length Ci5m levels. We corroborate these results by showing that Ci5m is more active than wild-type Ci at inducing ectopic transcription of the Hh target gene wingless in embryos and that inhibition of PKA enhances induction of wingless by wild-type Ci but not by Ci5m. We therefore propose that PKA phosphorylation of Ci is required for the proteolysis of Ci-155 to Ci-75 in vivo. We also show that the activity of Ci5m remains Hedgehog responsive if expressed at low levels, providing further evidence that the full-length form of Ci undergoes a Hedgehog-dependent activation step.

PMID:
10477300
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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