MLCK-A, An Unconventional Myosin Light Chain Kinase from Dictyostelium, is Activated by a cGMP-dependent Pathway
Dictyostelium myosin II is activated by phosphorylation of its regulatory light chain by myosin light chain kinase A (MLCK-A), an unconventional MLCK that is not regulated by Ca2+/calmodulin. MLCK-A is activated by autophosphorylation of threonine-289 outside of the catalytic domain and by phosphorylation of threonine-166 in the activation loop by an unidentified kinase, but the signals controlling these phosphorylations are unknown. Treatment of cells with Con A results in quantitative phosphorylation of the regulatory light chain by MLCK-A, providing an opportunity to study MLCK-A’s activation mechanism. MLCK-A does not alter its cellular location upon treatment of cells with Con A, nor does it localize to the myosin-rich caps that form after treatment. However, MLCK-A activity rapidly increases 2- to 13-fold when Dictyostelium cells are exposed to Con A. This activation can occur in the absence of MLCK-A autophosphorylation. cGMP is a promising candidate for an intracellular messenger mediating Con A-triggered MLCK-A activation, as addition of cGMP to fresh Dictyostelium lysates increases MLCK-A activity 3- to 12-fold. The specific activity of MLCK-A in cGMP-treated lysates is 210-fold higher than that of recombinant MLCK-A, which is fully autophosphorylated, but lacks threonine-166 phosphorylation. Purified MLCK-A is not directly activated by cGMP, indicating that additional cellular factors, perhaps a kinase that phosphorylates threonine-166, are involved.
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
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