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Arch Biochem Biophys. 1995 Feb 1;316(2):673-9.

Dephosphorylation of protein kinase C substrates, neurogranin, neuromodulin, and MARCKS, by calcineurin and protein phosphatases 1 and 2A.

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  • 1Endocrinology and Reproduction Research Branch, National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland 20892.


Neurogranin, neuromodulin, and MARCKS are among the most prominent substrates of protein kinase C (PKC) in the mammalian brain. These phosphoproteins were dephosphorylated by three isoforms of rat brain calcineurin, also known as calmodulin (CaM)-dependent protein phosphatase (CaMPP). The three CaMPP isozymes dephosphorylate neurogranin, the most favorable substrate among the three tested, with subtle differences in their responses to divalent metal ions, Mn2+ and Ni2+. Dephosphorylation of neurogranin by all three CaMPP isozymes, CaMPP-1, -2, and -3, were stimulated to a higher extent by Mn2+ than by Ni2+ in the presence of CaM and Ca2+. The Km values of neurogranin in the presence of Mn2+ were lower than those in the presence of Ni2+ for CaMPP-1 and -2, but that for CaMPP-3 was comparable with either divalent metal ion. The Vmax values were higher in the presence of Mn2+ than those of Ni2+ for all three isozymes. Neurogranin and neuromodulin, both phosphorylated by PKC at a single site, were dephosphorylated completely by CaMPP; however, MARCKS, phosphorylated by PKC at three sites, was partially dephosphorylated by this phosphatase. A higher extent of dephosphorylation of MARCKS could be achieved by the combination of CaMPP and protein phosphatase 2A and a complete dephosphorylation of this protein was observed with protein phosphatase 1. Protein phosphatase 1 and 2A were also effective in a complete dephosphorylation of neurogranin and neuromodulin. Amino acid sequence analysis of the tryptic phosphopeptides derived from MARCKS dephosphorylated by CaMPP and protein phosphatase 2A revealed that the former preferentially dephosphorylated Ser155 and the latter Ser162 of rat brain MARCKS. Both phosphatases dephosphorylated poorly of Ser151. Because of the high concentration of CaMPP in the brain and the colocalization of this phosphatase with major PKC substrates in the various brain regions, it is likely that CaMPP is a phosphatase with potential to reverse the action of PKC.

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