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J Biol Chem. 1997 Feb 7;272(6):3544-9.

Phosphorylation of protein kinase C-alpha on serine 657 controls the accumulation of active enzyme and contributes to its phosphatase-resistant state.

Author information

  • 1Imperial Cancer Research Fund, Lincoln's Inn Fields, London WC2A 3PX, United Kingdom.

Erratum in

  • J Biol Chem 1997 May 16;272(20):13458.


Serine 657 in protein kinase C-alpha (PKCalpha) is a site of phosphorylation on expression of the recombinant protein in mammalian cells. To define the function of this phosphorylation, PKCalpha species with mutations of this site were investigated. The alanine mutant, S657A PKCalpha, displayed slow phosphate accumulation in pulse-chase experiments, indicating a rate-limiting role in the initial phase of phosphorylation. Consistent with this, the aspartic acid mutant, S657D PKCalpha, showed an increased rate of phosphate accumulation. Both the S657D and S657A PKCalpha mutants were slow to accumulate as fully phosphorylated forms during a second phase of phosphorylation. This latter property is shown to correlate with an increased phosphatase sensitivity and decreased protein kinase activity for these two PKCalpha mutants. It is further shown that once fully phosphorylated, the S657D PKCalpha mutant displays WT PKCalpha properties with respect to thermal stability and phosphatase sensitivity in vitro and in vivo; in contrast, the S657A PKCalpha mutant remains sensitive. The properties of the Ser-657 site PKCalpha mutants define functional roles for this phosphorylation in both the accumulation of phosphate on PKCalpha as well as in its agonist-induced dephosphorylation. These results are discussed in the context of a working model of PKCalpha behavior, providing insight into the workings of other kinases with equivalent sites of phosphorylation.

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