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Arch Biochem Biophys. 2006 Dec 15;456(2):183-93. Epub 2006 Jun 30.

Phosphorylation of cortactin by p21-activated kinase.

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Department of Biochemistry and Protein Function Discovery Program, Queen's University, Kingston, Ont., Canada K7L 3N6.


Cortactin is an F-actin binding protein that is enriched in dynamic cytoskeletal organelles such as podosomes, membrane ruffles, and lamellipodia. We have shown previously that Src-phosphorylation of cortactin is not required for its translocation to phorbol-ester induced podosomes in A7r5 aortic smooth muscle cells, but may be important for stability and turnover of podosomes. However, little is known of the role of Ser/Thr kinases in the regulation of cortactin. Here, we report that p21-associated kinase (PAK), which plays a crucial role in the formation of podosome and membrane ruffles, is able to phosphorylate cortactin in vitro. The predominant phosphorylation site is located at Ser113 in the first actin-binding repeat. Phosphorylation by PAK is not required for the translocation of cortactin to podosomes, lamellipodia, or membrane ruffles in A7r5 smooth muscle cells. However, binding of cortactin to F-actin is significantly reduced by PAK-phosphorylation. Taken together, these results suggest a role for PAK-phosphorylation of cortactin in the regulation of the dynamics of branched actin filaments in dynamic cytoskeletal organelles.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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