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J Biol Chem. 2004 Aug 13;279(33):34496-504. Epub 2004 Jun 11.

Smooth muscle phosphatase is regulated in vivo by exclusion of phosphorylation of threonine 696 of MYPT1 by phosphorylation of Serine 695 in response to cyclic nucleotides.

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Department of Pharmacology and Cancer Biology, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, NC 27710, USA.


Regulation of smooth muscle myosin phosphatase (SMPP-1M) is thought to be a primary mechanism for explaining Ca(2+) sensitization/desensitization in smooth muscle. Ca(2+) sensitization induced by activation of G protein-coupled receptors acting through RhoA involves phosphorylation of Thr-696 (of the human isoform) of the myosin targeting subunit (MYPT1) of SMPP-1M inhibiting activity. In contrast, agonists that elevate intracellular cGMP and cAMP promote Ca(2+) desensitization in smooth muscle through apparent activation of SMPP-1M. We show that cGMP-dependent protein kinase (PKG)/cAMP-dependent protein kinase (PKA) efficiently phosphorylates MYPT1 in vitro at Ser-692, Ser-695, and Ser-852 (numbering for human isoform). Although phosphorylation of MYPT1 by PKA/PKG has no direct effect on SMPP-1M activity, a primary site of phosphorylation is Ser-695, which is immediately adjacent to the inactivating Thr-696. In vitro, phosphorylation of Ser-695 by PKA/PKG appeared to prevent phosphorylation of Thr-696 by MYPT1K. In ileum smooth muscle, Ser-695 showed a 3-fold increase in phosphorylation in response to 8-bromo-cGMP. Addition of constitutively active recombinant MYPT1K to permeabilized smooth muscles caused phosphorylation of Thr-696 and Ca(2+) sensitization; however, this phosphorylation was blocked by preincubation with 8-bromo-cGMP. These findings suggest a mechanism of Ca(2+) desensitization in smooth muscle that involves mutual exclusion of phosphorylation, whereby phosphorylation of Ser-695 prevents phosphorylation of Thr-696 and therefore inhibition of SMPP-1M.

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