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Identification of novel ERK2 substrates through use of an engineered kinase and ATP analogs


The mitogen-activated protein kinases are key regulators of cellular organization and function. To understand the mechanisms(s) by which these ubiquitous kinases affect specific cellular changes, it is necessary to identify their diverse and numerous substrates in different cell contexts and compartments. As a first step in achieving this goal, we engineered a mutant ERK2 in which a bulky amino acid residue in the ATP binding site (glutamine 103) is changed to glycine, allowing this mutant to utilize an analog of ATP (cyclopentyl ATP) that cannot be used by wild-type ERK2 or other cellular kinases. The mutation did not inhibit ERK2 kinase activity or substrate specificity in vitro or in vivo. This method allowed us to detect only ERK2-specific phosphorylations within a mixture of proteins. Using this ERK2 mutant/analog pair to phosphorylate ERK2-associated proteins in COS-1 cells, we identified the ubiquitin ligase EDD (E3 identified by differential display) and the nucleoporin Tpr (translocated promoter region) as two novel substrates of ERK2, in addition to the known ERK2 substrate Rsk1. To further validate the method, we present data that confirm that ERK2 phosphorylates EDD in vitro and in vivo. These results not only identify two novel ERK2 substrates but also provide a framework for the future identification of numerous cellular targets of this important signaling cascade.

Type Journal
ISBN 0021-9258 (Print)
Authors Eblen, S. T.;Kumar, N. V.;Shah, K.;Henderson, M. J.;Watts, C. K.;Shokat, K. M.;Weber, M. J. :
Published Date 2003-01-01
Published Volume 278
Published Issue 17
Published Pages 14926-35
Status Published in-print
URL link to publisher's version