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FEBS Lett. 1994 Jan 24;338(1):31-6.

The interleukin-1-stimulated protein kinase that phosphorylates heat shock protein hsp27 is activated by MAP kinase.

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  • 1Department of Biochemistry, Immunex Corporation, Seattle, WA 98101.


In KB cells, interleukin-1 (IL-1), epidermal growth factor and phorbol ester transiently activated both MAP kinase and a serine kinase which phosphorylated the heat shock protein hsp27. Extracts made from IL-1-stimulated KB cells phosphorylated recombinant hsp27, in vitro, on serine residues 78 and 82 which are contained within Arg-X-X-Ser motifs similar to those phosphorylated by the ribosomal protein S6 kinases. Upon size exclusion chromatography, however, hsp27 kinase eluted as a single peak of activity at 50-60 kDa, clearly separated from ribosomal protein S6 kinases. Treatment of partially purified hsp27 kinase with protein phosphatase-2a reduced its activity by 80%. De-phosphorylated hsp27 kinase could be approximately 50% reactivated by a factor present in IL-1-treated cell extracts in the presence of ATP. This factor co-eluted with MAP kinase after partial purification by DEAE-cellulose, phenyl Sepharose, and size exclusion chromatography. Purified sea star p44mpk and recombinant ERK2 MAP kinases were also capable of re-activating hsp27 kinase to a similar extent. These data suggest that hsp27 kinase is downstream from, and probably a direct target of MAP kinase.

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