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J Biol Chem. 2000 Jan 28;275(4):2431-8.

Specificity determinants of substrate recognition by the protein kinase DYRK1A.

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Institut f├╝r Pharmakologie und Toxikologie, RWTH Aachen, 52057 Aachen, Germany.


DYRK1A is a dual-specificity protein kinase that is thought to be involved in brain development. We identified a single phosphorylated amino acid residue in the DYRK substrate histone H3 (threonine 45) by mass spectrometry, phosphoamino acid analysis, and protein sequencing. Exchange of threonine 45 for alanine abolished phosphorylation of histone H3 by DYRK1A and by the related kinases DYRK1B, DYRK2, and DYRK3 but not by CLK3. In order to define the consensus sequence for the substrate specificity of DYRK1A, a library of 300 peptides was designed in variation of the H3 phosphorylation site. Evaluation of the phosphate incorporation into these peptides identified DYRK1A as a proline-directed kinase with a phosphorylation consensus sequence (RPX(S/T)P) similar to that of ERK2 (PX(S/T)P). A peptide designed after the optimal substrate sequence (DYRKtide) was efficiently phosphorylated by DYRK1A (K(m) = 35 microM) but not by ERK2. Both ERK2 and DYRK1A phosphorylated myelin basic protein, whereas only ERK2, but not DYRK1A, phosphorylated the mitogen-activated protein kinase substrate ELK-1. This marked difference in substrate specificity between DYRK1A and ERK2 can be explained by the requirement for an arginine at the P -3 site of DYRK substrates and its presumed interaction with aspartate 247 conserved in all DYRKs.

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