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J Biol Chem. 2004 May 21;279(21):22404-11. Epub 2004 Feb 26.

Insulin-activated Erk-mitogen-activated protein kinases phosphorylate sterol regulatory element-binding Protein-2 at serine residues 432 and 455 in vivo.

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  • 1German Diabetes Center at the Heinrich-Heine University Düsseldorf, Institute for Clinical Biochemistry and Pathobiochemistry, D-40225 Düsseldorf, Germany.


The transcription factor sterol regulatory element binding protein (SREBP)-2 plays a pivotal role in lipid metabolism. Previously, we have shown that the mature form of SREBP-2 is a substrate of Erk-mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPK). The aim of the present study was to identify Erk-specific phosphorylation sites. Using a protein chemistry approach, we could identify Ser-432 and Ser-455 as major phosphorylation sites. Further characterization by electrophoretic mobility shift assay and promoter reporter gene analyses revealed that phosphorylation does not influence protein/DNA interaction, but enhances trans-activity. In intact cells, SREBP-2 is phosphorylated by insulin, which seems to be related to their bio-responses on low density lipoprotein receptor activity. These results suggest that activation of Erk-MAPK pathways by hormones such as insulin might be related to a novel regulatory principle of SREBP-2.

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