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Calmodulin binding and Cdk5 phosphorylation of p35 regulate its effect on microtubules.

Authors
  • He, Lisheng
  • Hou, Zhibo
  • Qi, Robert Z
Type
Published Article
Journal
Journal of Biological Chemistry
Publisher
American Society for Biochemistry & Molecular Biology (ASBMB)
Publication Date
May 09, 2008
Volume
283
Issue
19
Pages
13252–13260
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1074/jbc.M706937200
PMID: 18326489
Source
Medline
License
Unknown

Abstract

In the nervous system, Cdk5 and its neuronal activator p35 are involved in the control of various activities, including neuronal differentiation and migration. Recently, we have reported that p35 is a microtubule-associated protein that regulates microtubule dynamics ( Hou, Z., Li, Q., He, L., Lim, H. Y., Fu, X., Cheung, N. S., Qi, D. X., and Qi, R. Z. (2007) J. Biol. Chem. 282, 18666-18670 ). Here we present two regulatory modes of p35 function as a microtubule-associated protein. First, p35 is Ca(2+)-dependent calmodulin (CaM)-binding protein. The CaM- and microtubule binding domains are localized to overlapping regions at the N terminus of p35. Within the CaM-binding region, Ala substitution for Trp-52 abolishes the CaM-binding activity, corroborating specific CaM-binding of p35. Furthermore, CaM blocks p35 association with microtubules in a Ca(2+)-specific manner, suggesting that p35 may be involved in the Ca(2+)/CaM-mediated inhibition of microtubule assembly. Second, p35 phosphorylation by Cdk5 interferes with the microtubule-binding and polymerizing activities of p35. Using a mutational approach, we found that only phosphorylation at Thr-138, one of the two residues primarily phosphorylated in vivo, inhibits the polymerizing activity. In PC12 cells, expression of p35 promotes nerve growth factor-induced neurite outgrowth under a Cdk5 inhibitory condition. Such p35 activity is impaired by the phosphomimetic mutation of Thr-138. These data suggest that Thr-138 phosphorylation plays a critical role in the control of the p35 functions in microtubule assembly and neurite outgrowth.

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