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J Biol Chem. 1997 Apr 18;272(16):10514-21.

Identification of the autophosphorylation sites of the Xenopus laevis Pim-1 proto-oncogene-encoded protein kinase.

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  • 1Department of Medicine, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, British Columbia V5Z 1A1, Canada.


Pim-1 is an oncogene-encoded serine/threonine kinase expressed primarily in cells of the hematopoietic and germ line lineages. Previously identified only in mammals, pim-1 cDNA was cloned and sequenced from the African clawed frog Xenopus laevis. The coding region of Xenopus pim-1 encoded a protein of 324 residues, which exhibited 64% amino acid identity with the full-length human cognate. Xenopus Pim-1 was expressed in bacteria as a glutathione S-transferase (GST) fusion protein and in COS cells. Phosphoamino acid analysis revealed that recombinant Pim-1 autophosphorylated on serine and threonine and to a more limited extent on tyrosine. Electrospray ionization mass spectroscopy was undertaken to locate these phosphorylation sites, and the primary autophosphorylation site of GST-Pim-1 was identified as Ser-190 with Thr-205 and Ser-4 being minor sites. Ser-190, which immediately follows the high conserved Asp-Phe-Gly motif in catalytic subdomain VII, is also featured in more than 20 other protein kinases. To evaluate the importance of the Ser-190 site on the phosphotransferase activity of Pim-1, Ser-190 was mutated to either alanine or glutamic acid, and the constructs were expressed in bacteria as GST fusion proteins and in COS cells. These mutants confirmed that Ser-190 is a major autophosphorylation site of Pim-1 and indicated that phosphorylation of Pim-1 on the Ser-190 residue may serve to activate this kinase.

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