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Oncogene. 1994 Jul;9(7):1891-8.

Characterization of recombinant Xenopus MAP kinase kinases mutated at potential phosphorylation sites.

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Department of Genetics and Molecular Biology, Kyoto University, Japan.


Xenopus mitogen-activated protein kinase kinase (MAPKK) previously inactivated with protein phosphatase 2A can be reactivated by serine phosphorylation catalyzed by a partially purified MAPKK kinase (MAPKK-K), and is phosphorylated by MAPK on a threonine residue. The sequence analysis of a threonine-phosphorylated tryptic peptide of Xenopus MAPKK from mature oocytes suggested that Thr388 is phosphorylated in vivo. A mutant MAPKK that has Thr388 changed to Ala (T388A-MAPKK) was not phosphorylated by purified MAPK, indicating that Thr388 is phosphorylated by MAPK. We then produced and analysed MAPKKs mutated at potential serine phosphorylation sites (S218A-MAPKK and S222A-MAPKK). The wild-type MAPKK (WT-MAPKKK), T388A-MAPKK and a kinase-deficient (K97S)-MAPKK were phosphorylated efficiently by MAPKK-Ks purified from Xenopus eggs, and WT-MAPKK and T388A-MAPKK became activated. In contrast, neither S218A-MAPKK nor S222A-MAPKK was phosphorylated and activated efficiently by the Xenopus MAPKK-Ks. Similarly, WT-MAPKK, but not S218A-MAPKK or S222A-MAPKK, was activated efficiently by an active Raf-1 immunoprecipitate. However, when the recombinant STE11, a putative MAPKK-K in S. cerevisiae, was used as a source of MAPKK-K, S218A-MAPKK as well as WT-MAPKK, but not S222A-MAPKK, was phosphorylated and activated. Furthermore, replacement of Ser222 with an acidic residue (S222E) elevated substantially the basal kinase activity of MAPKK, while replacement of Ser218 (S218E) did not. These results may suggest an essential role for Ser222 phosphorylation in activating Xenopus MAPKK.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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