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Biochemistry. 2007 Jun 26;46(25):7614-24. Epub 2007 May 31.

Dual-specificity tyrosine phosphorylation-regulated kinase 1A does not require tyrosine phosphorylation for activity in vitro.

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Molecular Biology Department, New York State Institute for Basic Research in Developmental Disabilities, Staten Island, New York 10314, USA.


The dual-specificity tyrosine phosphorylation-regulated kinase 1A (DYRK1A) gene is localized in human chromosome 21, and its overexpression has been associated with the learning and memory deficits of Down syndrome. DYRK1A contains a Y319XY321 motif shared by all members of the DYRK protein kinase family. Residue Y321 in the motif is phosphorylated in DYRK1A prepared from Escherichia coli and from eukaryotic cells. It has been proposed that the YXY motif is an equivalent of the TXY motif, the activation loop, of mitogen-activated protein kinase and that phosphorylation at the motif is required for DYRK activity. In this study, the role of tyrosine phosphorylation in the activity of DYRK1A was investigated in detail. Wild-type DYRK1A with a reduced level of phosphotyrosine (pY) was prepared by treating E. coli-produced DYRK1A with two different protein tyrosine phosphatases. The resulting pY-depleted DYRK1A could not regain pY during autophosphorylation but was as active as the untreated control. These findings were further supported by the observation that DYRK1A retained significant enzymatic activity when both tyrosine residues in the YXY motif were replaced with either histidine or glutamine. Together, we conclude that tyrosine phosphorylation and tyrosine residues in the YXY motif are not directly involved in DYRK1A enzymatic activity in vitro.

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