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J Biol Chem. 1996 Oct 25;271(43):27083-9.

The photoreceptor guanylate cyclase is an autophosphorylating protein kinase.

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  • 1Committee on Neurobiology, University of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois 60637, USA.


The photoreceptor membrane guanylate cyclase is a member of a family of proteins with a set of four structural motifs: an extracellular ligand binding domain, a transmembrane domain, an intracellular protein kinase-like domain, and an intracellular catalytic domain. Purified preparations of the photoreceptor guanylate cyclase have allowed us to explore the function of the protein kinase-like domain. ATP enhances the guanylate cyclase activity 2-fold in membranes stripped of peripheral proteins. The stimulation can be mimicked by ATPgammaS (adenosine 5'-O-(3-thiotriphosphate)), AMPPNP (5'-adenylyl beta,gamma-imidodiphosphate), and ADP, but not AMP. While this effect is lost by solubilizing guanylate cyclase, ATP binds the purified, solubilized enzyme in a site distinct from the catalytic GTP site as shown by specific labeling with 8-N3[alpha-32P]ATP. The enzyme has a protein kinase activity that is Mg2+-dependent and autophosphorylates serine residues. Myelin basic protein serves as a substrate for the kinase and enables further characterization of the kinase properties. The Km for ATP is 81 microM. The kinase activity is unaffected by calcium, cyclic nucleotides, and phorbol 12-myristate 13-acetate/L-alpha-phosphatidylserine/Ca2+ and is inhibited by high concentrations of staurosporine. These properties are distinct from other Ser/Thr kinases identified in rod outer segment preparations including protein kinase A, protein kinase C, and rhodopsin kinase. The observations offer the first biochemical evidence that a member of the receptor guanylate cyclase family has intrinsic protein kinase activity.

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