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Neuron. 1989 Jul;3(1):59-70.

Expression of a multifunctional Ca2+/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase and mutational analysis of its autoregulation.

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Department of Pharmacology, Stanford University School of Medicine, California 94305-5332.


Autophosphorylation of multifunctional Ca2+/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase converts it from a Ca2(+)-dependent to a Ca2(+)-independent or autonomous kinase, a process that may underlie some long-term enhancement of transient Ca2+ signals. We demonstrate that the neuronal alpha subunit clone expressed in COS-7 cells (alpha-CaM kinase) is sufficient to encode the regulatory phenomena characteristic of the multisubunit kinase isolated from brain. Activity of alpha-CaM kinase is highly dependent on Ca2+/calmodulin. It is converted by autophosphorylation to an enzyme capable of Ca2(+)-independent (autonomous) substrate phosphorylation and autophosphorylation. Using site-directed mutagenesis, we separately eliminate five putative autophosphorylation sites within the regulatory domain and directly examine their individual roles. Ca2+/calmodulin-dependent kinase activity is fully retained by each mutant, but Thr286 is unique among the sites in being indispensable for generation of an autonomous kinase.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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