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J Biol Chem. 1989 Jul 5;264(19):11282-7.

Phosphorylation of the CD20 phosphoprotein in resting B lymphocytes. Regulation by protein kinase C.

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  • 1Department of Microbiology, University of Washington, Seattle 98195.


CD20, a B cell integral membrane protein, regulates B cell activation and is differently phosphorylated in resting and activated cells. We have previously shown that CD20 phosphorylation is increased in activated cells and in phorbol ester-treated resting cells. Phosphorylation is also altered by agents which signal B cell proliferation, such as anti-IgM and a B cell growth factor. The present study was designed to address whether protein kinase C (PKC) or other kinases used CD20 as a substrate. When purified PKC was incubated with isolated CD20, both the 35- and 37-kDa CD20 proteins were phosphorylated in vitro. Intact resting B cells were next incubated with the protein kinase inhibitors H-7, H-8, and W-7. No change in basal CD20 phosphorylation was observed in the presence of W-7 and H-8, indicating that the protein cyclic nucleotide-dependent and calmodulin-dependent kinases were not actively phosphorylating CD20. Surprisingly, the PKC inhibitor H-7 increased CD20 phosphorylation at concentrations above 25-50 microM. To assess whether PKC either activated a phosphatase or inactivated a kinase affecting CD20 phosphorylation, tryptic phosphopeptide mapping of CD20 was performed. These studies revealed that addition of phorbol 12-myristate 13-acetate increased phosphorylation of some peptides differing from those which had increased phosphorylation following addition of H-7. Furthermore, signalling through surface immunoglobulin increased phosphorylation of CD20 peptides distinct from those hyperphosphorylated following addition of phorbol 12-myristate 13-acetate. These results demonstrate that 1) CD20 has multiple phosphorylation sites, as predicted from sequence data, and 2) whereas PKC can use CD20 as substrate, at least one other unidentified kinase phosphorylates CD20 in resting cells. Our data also predict that activation of B cells via the antigen receptor (surface IgM) may activate other protein kinases in addition to PKC.

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