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J Biol Chem. 1999 Dec 24;274(52):37385-90.

Inhibitory phosphorylation site for Rho-associated kinase on smooth muscle myosin phosphatase.

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First Department of Internal Medicine, Mie University School of Medicine, Tsu, Mie 514-8507, Japan.


It is clear from several studies that myosin phosphatase (MP) can be inhibited via a pathway that involves RhoA. However, the mechanism of inhibition is not established. These studies were carried out to test the hypothesis that Rho-kinase (Rho-associated kinase) via phosphorylation of the myosin phosphatase target subunit 1 (MYPT1) inhibited MP activity and to identify relevant sites of phosphorylation. Phosphorylation by Rho-kinase inhibited MP activity and this reflected a decrease in V(max). Activity of MP with different substrates also was inhibited by phosphorylation. Two major sites of phosphorylation on MYPT1 were Thr(695) and Thr(850). Various point mutations were designed for these phosphorylation sites. Following thiophosphorylation by Rho-kinase and assays of phosphatase activity it was determined that Thr(695) was responsible for inhibition. A site- and phosphorylation-specific antibody was developed for the sequence flanking Thr(695) and this recognized only phosphorylated Thr(695) in both native and recombinant MYPT1. Using this antibody it was shown that stimulation of serum-starved Swiss 3T3 cells by lysophosphatidic acid, thought to activate RhoA pathways, induced an increase in Thr(695) phosphorylation on MYPT1 and this effect was blocked by a Rho-kinase inhibitor, Y-27632. In summary, these results offer strong support for a physiological role of Rho-kinase in regulation of MP activity.

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