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Biochemistry. 1988 Oct 4;27(20):7793-9.

Endogenous phosphorylation of basic protein in myelin of varying degrees of compaction.

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  • 1Research Institute, Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.


Fractions containing myelin of varying degrees of compaction were prepared from human white matter. Protein kinase activity in these fractions was measured by using both endogenous and exogenous myelin basic protein (MBP) as substrates. In both cases, less compact myelin fractions possessed higher levels of protein kinase activity than the compact myelin fraction. In addition, the specific activity of phosphorylated basic protein was greater in the loosely compacted fractions than in compact multilamellar myelin. When basic protein in compact myelin or the myelin fractions was phosphorylated by the endogenous kinase, approximately 70% of the [32P]phosphate was incorporated at a single site, identified as Ser-102. The remaining 30% was found in three other minor sites. Electron microscopy of less compact myelin showed it was composed of fewer lamellae which correlated with a relative decrease in the proportion of cationic charge isomers (microheteromers) when MBP was subjected to gel electrophoresis at alkaline pH. The shift in charge microheterogeneity of basic protein to the less cationic isomers in the less compact myelin fractions correlated with an increase in protein kinase activity and a greater specific activity of phosphorylated basic protein.

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