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Phosphorylation Regulates Interaction of 210-kDa Myosin Light Chain Kinase N-terminal Domain with Actin Cytoskeleton

E. L. Vilitkevich1#, A. Y. Khapchaev1#, D. S. Kudryashov2, A. V. Nikashin1, J. P. Schavocky3, T. J. Lukas3, D. M. Watterson3, and V. P. Shirinsky1*

1Russian Cardiology Research and Production Center, 121552 Moscow, Russia; fax: 7 (495) 414-6719; E-mail: shirinsky@cardio.ru

2Ohio State University, Columbus, OH 43210 USA

3Northwestern University, Chicago, IL 60611 USA

# These authors contributed equally to this work.

* To whom correspondence should be addressed.

Received May 26, 2015; Revision received June 20, 2015
High molecular weight myosin light chain kinase (MLCK210) is a multifunctional protein involved in myosin II activation and integration of cytoskeletal components in cells. MLCK210 possesses actin-binding regions both in the central part of the molecule and in its N-terminal tail domain. In HeLa cells, mitotic protein kinase Aurora B was suggested to phosphorylate MLCK210 N-terminal tail at serine residues (Dulyaninova, N. G., and Bresnick, A. R. (2004) Exp. Cell Res., 299, 303-314), but the functional significance of the phosphorylation was not established. We report here that in vitro, the N-terminal actin-binding domain of MLCK210 is located within residues 27-157 (N27-157, avian MLCK210 sequence) and is phosphorylated by cAMP-dependent protein kinase (PKA) and Aurora B at serine residues 140/149 leading to a decrease in N27-157 binding to actin. The same residues are phosphorylated in a PKA-dependent manner in transfected HeLa cells. Further, in transfected cells, phosphomimetic mutants of N27-157 showed reduced association with the detergent-stable cytoskeleton, whereas in vitro, the single S149D mutation reduced N27-157 association with F-actin to a similar extent as that achieved by N27-157 phosphorylation. Altogether, our results indicate that phosphorylation of MLCK210 at distinct serine residues, mainly at S149, attenuates the interaction of MLCK210 N-terminus with the actin cytoskeleton and might serve to regulate MLCK210 microfilament cross-linking activity in cells.
KEY WORDS: 210-kDa myosin light chain kinase, phosphorylation-dependent actin binding, protein interactions, cAMP-dependent protein kinase, Aurora B

DOI: 10.1134/S0006297915100090