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J Biol Chem. 2007 Dec 7;282(49):35449-56. Epub 2007 Oct 10.

Activation of a C-terminal transcriptional activation domain of ERK5 by autophosphorylation.

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Department of Cell and Developmental Biology, Graduate School of Biostudies, Kyoto University, Sakyo-ku, Kyoto 606-8502, Japan.


ERK5 plays a crucial role in many biological processes by regulating transcription. ERK5 has a large C-terminal-half that contains a transcriptional activation domain. However, it has remained unclear how its transcriptional activation activity is regulated. Here, we show that the activated kinase activity of ERK5 is required for the C-terminal-half to enhance the AP-1 activity, and that the activated ERK5 undergoes autophosphorylation on its most C-terminal region. Changing these phosphorylatable threonine and serine residues to unphosphorylatable alanines significantly reduces the transcriptional activation activity of ERK5. Moreover, phosphomimetic mutants of the C-terminal-half of ERK5 without an N-terminal kinase domain are shown to be able to enhance the AP-1 activity in fibroblastic cells. These results reveal the role of the stimulus-induced ERK5 autophosphorylation in regulation of gene expression.

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