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Mol Endocrinol. 2000 Jan;14(1):52-65.

Differential hormone-dependent phosphorylation of progesterone receptor A and B forms revealed by a phosphoserine site-specific monoclonal antibody.

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Endocrine Research, Ligand Pharmaceuticals, Inc., San Diego, California 92121, USA.


Human progesterone receptor (PR) is phosphorylated on multiple serine residues (at least seven sites) in a manner that involves distinct groups of sites coordinately regulated by hormone and different kinases. Progress on defining a functional role for PR phosphorylation has been hampered both by the complexity of phosphorylation and the lack of simple, nonradioactive methods to detect the influence of ligands and other signaling pathways on specific PR phosphorylation sites in vivo. Toward this end, we have produced monoclonal antibodies (MAbs) that recognize specific phosphorylation sites within human PR including a basal site at Ser 190 (MAb P190) and a hormone-induced site at Ser 294 (MAb P294). Biochemical experiments showed the differential reactivity of the P190 and P294 MAbs for phosphorylated and unphosphorylated forms of PR. Both MAbs recognize specific phosphorylated forms of PR under different experimental conditions including denatured PR protein by Western blots and PR in its native conformation in solution or complexed to specific target DNA. As detected by Western blot of T47D cells treated with hormone for different times, hormone-dependent down-regulation of total PR and the Ser 190 phosphorylation site occurred in parallel, whereas the Ser 294 phosphorylation site was down-regulated more rapidly. This difference in kinetics suggests that the Ser 294 site is more labile than basal sites and is acted upon by distinct phosphatases. A strong preferential hormone-dependent phosphorylation of Ser 294 was observed on PR-B as compared with the amino-terminal truncated A form of PR. This was unexpected because Ser 294 and flanking sequences are identical on both proteins, suggesting that a distinct conformation of the N-terminal domain of PR-A inhibits phosphorylation of this site. That Ser 294 lies within an inhibitory domain that mediates the unique repressive functions of PR-A raises the possibility that differential phosphorylation of Ser 294 is involved in the distinct functional properties of PR-A and PR-B.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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