Protein kinase CK2 phosphorylates and interacts with deoxyhypusine synthase in HeLa cells


Deoxyhypusine is a modified lysine and formed posttranslationally to be the eukaryotic initiation factor eIF5A by deoxyhypusine synthase, employing spermidine as butylamine donor. Subsequent hydroxylation of this deoxyhypusine-containing intermediate completes the maturation of eIF5A. The previous report showed that deoxyhypusine synthase was phosphorylated by PKC in vivo and the association of deoxyhypusine synthase with PKC in CHO cells was PMA-, and Ca(2+)/phospholipid-dependent. We have extended study on the phosphorylation of deoxyhypusine synthase by protein kinase CK2 in order to define its role on the regulation of eIF5A in the cell. The results showed that deoxyhypusine synthase was phosphorylated by CK2 in vivo as well as in vitro. Endogenous CK2 in HeLa cells and the cell lysate was able to phosphorylate deoxyhypusine synthase and this modification is enhanced or decreased by the addition of CK2 effectors such as polylysine, heparin, and poly(Glu, Tyr) 4:1. Phosphoamino acid analysis of this enzyme revealed that deoxyhypusine synthase is mainly phosphorylated on threonine residue and less intensely on serine. These results suggest that phosphorylation of deoxyhypusine synthase is CK2-dependent cellular event as well as PKC-mediated effect. However, there were no observable changes in enzyme activity between the phosphorylated and unphosphorylated forms of deoxyhypusine synthase. Taken together, besides its established function in hypusine modification involving eIF5A substrate, deoxyhypusine synthase and its phosphorylation modification may have other independent cellular functions because of versatile roles of deoxyhypusine synthase.

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Kang, K., Chung, S. Protein kinase CK2 phosphorylates and interacts with deoxyhypusine synthase in HeLa cells. Exp Mol Med 35, 556–564 (2003).

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  • eukaryotic initiation factor 5A
  • phosphoamino acids
  • phosphorylation
  • post-translational modification
  • protein kinases
  • protein processing

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