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Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2000 Jun 24;273(1):110-6.

Identification of calponin as a novel substrate of Rho-kinase.

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Division of Signal Transduction, Nara Institute of Science and Technology, 8916-5 Takayama, Ikoma, Nara, 630-0101, Japan.


Calponin, an F-actin-associated protein implicated in the regulation of smooth muscle contraction, is known to be phosphorylated in vitro by protein kinase C (PKC) and Ca(2+)/calmodulin dependent protein kinase II (CaM kinase II). Unphosphorylated calponin binds to F-actin and inhibits the actin-activated myosin ATPase activity; these properties are lost on phosphorylation. In the present study, we found that Rho-kinase phosphorylated basic calponin stoichiometrically in vitro. We identified the sites of phosphorylation of calponin by Rho-kinase as Thr-170, Ser-175, Thr-180, Thr-184, and Thr-259, and prepared antibodies that specifically recognized calponin phosphorylated at Thr-170 and Thr-184. We showed that the phosphorylation of calponin by Rho-kinase inhibited the binding of calponin to F-actin. Taken together, these results suggest that calponin is a substrate of Rho-kinase and that Rho-kinase regulates the interaction of calponin with F-actin.

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