Catalytic activity is required for calcium/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase IV to enter the nucleus.
Calcium/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase IV (CaMKIV) is a nuclear protein kinase that responds to acute rises in intracellular calcium by phosphorylating and activating proteins involved in transcription. Consistent with these roles, CaMKIV is found predominantly in the nucleus of cells in which it is expressed. Here we evaluate nuclear entry of CaMKIV and demonstrate that the protein kinase homology domain is both necessary and sufficient for nuclear localization. Unexpectedly, although catalytic activity is required for nuclear translocation, it is not required for CaMKIV to interact with the nuclear adaptor protein, importin-alpha. Because the catalytically inactive molecules remain in the cytoplasm, these data suggest that this interaction is not sufficient for nuclear entry. We evaluated a role for other proteins known to interact with CaMKIV in regulation of its nuclear entry. Although our data do not support a role for calmodulin or protein phosphatase 2A, the catalytically inactive CaMKIV proteins interact more avidly with CaM-dependent protein kinase kinase (CaMKK), which is restricted to the cytoplasm. We find that the catalytically inactive proteins do not inhibit nuclear entry of wild-type CaMKIV but do inhibit the ability of the wild-type protein kinase to stimulate cyclic AMP response element-binding protein-mediated transcription. Because activation loop phosphorylation is required for the transcriptional roles of CaMKIV, these data suggest that CaMKK phosphorylation of CaMKIV may occur in the cytoplasm. We propose that sequestration of CaMKK may be the molecular mechanism by which catalytically inactive mutants of CaMKIV exert their "dominant-negative" functions within the cell.
Lemrow, SM; Anderson, KA; Joseph, JD; Ribar, TJ; Noeldner, PK; Means, AR
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