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J Biol Chem. 1987 Aug 5;262(22):10506-10.

Phosphorylation of the acetylcholine receptor by protein kinase C and identification of the phosphorylation site within the receptor delta subunit.


Purified acetylcholine receptor is rapidly and specifically phosphorylated by partially purified protein kinase C, the Ca2+/phospholipid-dependent enzyme. The receptor delta subunit is the major target for phosphorylation and is phosphorylated on serine residues to a final stoichiometry of 0.4 mol of phosphate/mol of subunit. Phosphorylation is dose-dependent with a Km value of 0.2 microM. Proteolytic digestion of the delta subunit phosphorylated by either protein kinase C or the cAMP-dependent protein kinase yielded a similar pattern of phosphorylated fragments. The amino acids phosphorylated by either kinase co-localized within a 15-kDa proteolytic fragment of the delta subunit. This fragment was visualized by immunoblotting with antibodies against a synthetic peptide corresponding to residues 354-367 of the receptor delta subunit. This sequence, which contains 3 consecutive serine residues, was recently shown to include the cAMP-dependent protein kinase phosphorylation site (Souroujon, M. C., Neumann, D., Pizzighella, S., Fridkin, M., and Fuchs, S. (1986) EMBO J. 5, 543-546). Concomitantly, the synthetic peptide 354-367 was specifically phosphorylated in a Ca2+- and phospholipid-dependent manner by protein kinase C. Furthermore, antibodies directed against this peptide inhibited phosphorylation of the intact receptor by protein kinase C. We thus conclude that both the cAMP-dependent protein kinase and protein kinase C phosphorylation sites reside in very close proximity within the 3 adjacent serine residues at positions 360, 361, and 362 of the delta subunit of the acetylcholine receptor.

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