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J Biol Chem. 2003 May 9;278(19):16706-12. Epub 2003 Feb 27.

Activation of cGMP-dependent protein kinase by protein kinase C.

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Department of Biochemistry, Medical College of Georgia, Augusta, Georgia 30912, USA.


The cGMP-dependent protein kinases (PKG) are emerging as important components of mainstream signal transduction pathways. Nitric oxide-induced cGMP formation by stimulation of soluble guanylate cyclase is generally accepted as being the most widespread mechanism underlying PKG activation. In the present study, PKG was found to be a target for phorbol 12-myristate 13-acetate (PMA)-responsive protein kinase C (PKC). PKG1alpha became phosphorylated in HEK-293 cells stimulated with PMA and also in vitro using purified components. PKC-dependent phosphorylation was found to activate PKG as measured by phosphorylation of vasodilator-stimulated phosphoprotein, and by in vitro kinase assays. Although there are 11 potential PKC substrate recognition sites in PKG1alpha, threonine 58 was examined due to its proximity to the pseudosubstrate domain. Antibodies generated against the phosphorylated form of this region were used to demonstrate phosphorylation in response to PMA treatment of the cells with kinetics similar to vasodilator-stimulated phosphoprotein phosphorylation. A phospho-mimetic mutation at this site (T58E) generated a partially activated PKG that was more sensitive to cGMP levels. A phospho-null mutation (T58A) revealed that this residue is important but not sufficient for PKG activation by PKC. Taken together, these findings outline a novel signal transduction pathway that links PKC stimulation with cyclic nucleotide-independent activation of PKG.

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