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FEBS Lett. 1992 Apr 13;301(1):111-4.

The consensus sequences for cdc2 kinase and for casein kinase-2 are mutually incompatible. A study with peptides derived from the beta-subunit of casein kinase-2.

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Dipartimento di Chimica Biologica, Università di Padova, Italy.


Two series of synthetic peptides that reproduce the amino- and carboxyl-terminal segments of the beta-subunit of casein kinase-2, including the sites phosphorylated by CK2 and cdc2 kinase, respectively, have been used as model substrates for these enzymes. The N-terminal peptide beta(1-9), MSSSEEVSW, is readily phosphorylated by CK2 but not all by cdc2. The opposite is true of the C-terminal peptide beta(206-215), NFKSPVKTIR, whose Ser-4 is a good target for cdc2 while being unaffected by CK2. The individual substitutions of Pro-5 and Lys-7 in the latter peptide with Gly and Ala (or Glu), respectively, prevent its phosphorylation by cdc2, whereas the substitution of Lys-3 with Ala is well tolerated and the substitution of the target Ser with Thr actually improves phosphorylation. Thus the consensus sequence for cdc2 is shown to be X-S-P-X-K. Such a requirement for a basic residue at position +3 is opposite to that of CK2 whose consensus sequence (S-X-X-E/D/Yp/Sp) includes an acidic residue at the same position. Moreover the motif Ser-Pro is detrimental for CK2, preventing the phosphorylation of otherwise suitable peptides. These observations would rule out the possibility that the site specificity of CK2 might overlap with that of cdc2 and possibly of other Pro-directed protein kinases.

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