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J Biol Chem. 2000 Jul 21;275(29):22532-6.

Frequency-encoding Thr17 phospholamban phosphorylation is independent of Ser16 phosphorylation in cardiac myocytes.

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  • 1Laboratory of Cardiovascular Science, Gerontology Research Center, NIA, National Institutes of Health, Baltimore, Maryland 21224, USA.


Both Ser(16) and Thr(17) of phospholamban (PLB) are phosphorylated, respectively, by cAMP-dependent protein kinase (PKA) and Ca(2+)/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase II (CaMKII). PLB phosphorylation relieves cardiac sarcoplasmic reticulum Ca(2+) pump from inhibition by PLB. Previous studies have suggested that phosphorylation of Ser(16) by PKA is a prerequisite for Thr(17) phosphorylation by CaMKII and is essential to the relaxant effect of beta-adrenergic stimulation. To determine the role of Thr(17) PLB phosphorylation, we investigated the dual-site phosphorylation of PLB in isolated adult rat cardiac myocytes in response to beta(1)-adrenergic stimulation or electrical field stimulation (0. 1-3 Hz) or both. A beta(1)-adrenergic agonist, norepinephrine (10(-9)-10(-6) m), in the presence of an alpha(1)-adrenergic antagonist, prazosin (10(-6) m), selectively increases the PKA-dependent phosphorylation of PLB at Ser(16) in quiescent myocytes. In contrast, electrical pacing induces an opposite phosphorylation pattern, selectively enhancing the CaMKII-mediated Thr(17) PLB phosphorylation in a frequency-dependent manner. When combined, electric stimulation (2 Hz) and beta(1)-adrenergic stimulation lead to dual phosphorylation of PLB and exert a synergistic effect on phosphorylation of Thr(17) but not Ser(16). Frequency-dependent Thr(17) phosphorylation is closely correlated with a decrease in 50% relaxation time (t(50)) of cell contraction, which is independent of, but additive to, the relaxant effect of Ser(16) phosphorylation, resulting in hastened contractile relaxation at high stimulation frequencies. Thus, we conclude that in intact cardiac myocytes, phosphorylation of PLB at Thr(17) occurs in the absence of prior Ser(16) phosphorylation, and that frequencydependent Thr(17) PLB phosphorylation may provide an intrinsic mechanism for cardiac myocytes to adapt to a sudden change of heart rate.

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