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Nucleic Acids Res. 1993 Mar 11;21(5):1289-95.

c-Jun is phosphorylated by the DNA-dependent protein kinase in vitro; definition of the minimal kinase recognition motif.

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Wellcome/CRC Institute, Cambridge, UK.


The DNA-dependent protein kinase (DNA-PK) phosphorylates a number of transcription factors. Here, we show that the DNA-PK modifies c-Jun in vitro and that serine residue 249 (Ser-249) is required for phosphorylation to occur. This residue corresponds to one of three sites of c-Jun that are phosphorylated in vivo and which negatively regulate c-Jun DNA binding in vitro. However, we find that phosphorylation of c-Jun by the DNA-PK does not interfere with DNA binding, indicating that phosphorylation at other sites is required for this effect. Mutagenesis of the phosphorylated region of c-Jun reveals that the primary amino acid sequence recognised by the DNA-PK consists of the sequence Ser-Gln, and that adjacent acidic residues potentiate kinase activity. Furthermore, when this site is placed within the context of a second protein, it confers DNA-PK directed phosphorylation upon that protein. Our findings will facilitate identification of DNA-PK phosphorylation sites in other transcription factors.

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