Normal cellular and transformation-associated abl proteins share common sites for protein kinase C phosphorylation.
Viral transduction and chromosomal translocations of the c-abl gene result in the synthesis of abl proteins with structurally altered amino termini. These altered forms of the abl protein, but not the c-abl proteins, are detectably phosphorylated on tyrosine in vivo. In contrast, all forms of the abl protein are phosphorylated on serine following in vivo labeling with Pi. Treatment of NIH-3T3 cells with protein kinase C activators resulted in a four- to eightfold increase in the phosphorylation of murine c-abl due to modification of two serines on the c-abl protein. Purified protein kinase C phosphorylated all abl proteins at the same two sites. Both sites are precisely conserved in murine and human abl proteins. The sites on the abl proteins were found near the carboxy terminus. In contrast, for the epidermal growth factor receptor (T. Hunter, N. Ling, and J. A. Cooper, Nature [London] 311:480-483, 1984) and pp60src (K. L. Gould, J. R. Woodgett, J. A. Cooper, J. E. Buss, D. Shalloway, and T. Hunter, Cell 42:849-857, 1985), the sites of protein kinase C phosphorylation are amino-terminal to the kinase domain. The abl carboxy-terminal region is not necessary for the tyrosine kinase activity or transformation potential of the viral abl protein and may represent a regulatory domain. Using an in vitro immune complex kinase assay, we were not able to correlate reproducible changes in c-abl activity with phosphorylation by protein kinase C. However, the high degree of conservation of the phosphorylation sites for protein kinase C between human and mouse abl proteins suggests an important functional role.
Pendergast, AM; Traugh, JA; Witte, ON
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