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J Neurosci Res. 2014 Feb;92(2):162-73. doi: 10.1002/jnr.23279. Epub 2013 Nov 22.

Intracellular distribution of differentially phosphorylated dual-specificity tyrosine phosphorylation-regulated kinase 1A (DYRK1A).

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Department of Developmental Neurobiology, NYS Institute for Basic Research in Developmental Disabilities, Staten Island, New York.


The gene encoding dual-specificity tyrosine phosphorylation-regulated kinase 1A (DYRK1A) is located within the Down syndrome (DS) critical region of chromosome 21. DYRK1A interacts with a plethora of substrates in the cytosol, cytoskeleton, and nucleus. Its overexpression is a contributing factor to the developmental alterations and age-associated pathology observed in DS. We hypothesized that the intracellular distribution of DYRK1A and cell-compartment-specific functions are associated with DYRK1A posttranslational modifications. Fractionation showed that, in both human and mouse brain, almost 80% of DYRK1A was associated with the cytoskeleton, and the remaining DYRK1A was present in the cytosolic and nuclear fractions. Coimmunoprecipitation revealed that DYRK1A in the brain cytoskeleton fraction forms complexes with filamentous actin, neurofilaments, and tubulin. Two-dimensional gel analysis of the fractions revealed DYRK1A with distinct isoelectric points: 5.5-6.5 in the nucleus, 7.2-8.2 in the cytoskeleton, and 8.7 in the cytosol. Phosphate-affinity gel electrophoresis demonstrated several bands of DYRK1A with different mobility shifts for nuclear, cytoskeletal, and cytosolic DYRK1A, indicating modification by phosphorylation. Mass spectrometry analysis disclosed one phosphorylated site in the cytosolic DYRK1A and multiple phosphorylated residues in the cytoskeletal DYRK1A, including two not previously described. This study supports the hypothesis that intracellular distribution and compartment-specific functions of DYRK1A may depend on its phosphorylation pattern.


DYRK1A; brain; cytoskeleton; nucleus; phosphorylation

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