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Mol Endocrinol. 2015 May;29(5):756-64. doi: 10.1210/me.2014-1394. Epub 2015 Mar 26.

Phosphorylation and Alternative Splicing of 7B2 Reduce Prohormone Convertase 2 Activation.

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Department of Anatomy and Neurobiology, School of Medicine, University of Maryland-Baltimore, Baltimore, Maryland 21201.


FAM20C is a secretory kinase responsible for the phosphorylation of multiple secreted proteins in mammalian cells; it has been shown to phosphorylate serine residues within a variety of different bone proteins. In this work we demonstrate that FAM20C also phosphorylates threonines, specifically those within the N-terminal domain of the neuroendocrine chaperone 7B2. Analysis of the primary sequence of 7B2 revealed that three threonine residues in its N-terminal domain are located within FAM20C consensus motifs: Thr73, Thr99, and Thr111. The individual substitution of Thr73 and Thr111 residues by neutral alanines caused a marked decrease in the total phosphorylation of 7B2. Furthermore, the phosphomimetic substitution of Thr111 by Glu clearly diminished the ability of 7B2 to activate pro-prohormone convertase 2 (PC2) in 7B2-lacking SK-N-MC neuroblastoma cells, suggesting that the phosphorylation of this residue critically impacts the 7B2-proPC2 interaction. However, the phosphomimetic mutation did not alter 7B2's ability to function as an antiaggregant for human islet amyloid polypeptide. FAM20C-mediated phosphorylation of a common alternatively spliced variant of human 7B2 that lacks Ala100 (thus eliminating the Thr99 phosphorylation consensus site) was similar to the Ala-containing protein, but this variant did not activate proPC2 as efficiently as the Ala-containing protein. Although threonines within 7B2 were phosphorylated efficiently, FAM20C was incapable of performing the well-known regulatory threonine phosphorylation of the molecular chaperone binding immunoglobulin protein. Taken together, these results indicate that FAM20C plays a role in 7B2-mediated proPC2 activation by phosphorylating residue Thr111; and that 7B2 function is regulated by alternative splicing.

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