Fatty acylated proteins and the protein kinase C signaling pathway

Guy Lamar James, The University of Texas Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences at Houston


Numerous proteins in intracellular signaling pathways are known to be covalently modified by long chain fatty acids. The objective of this project was to identify potentially novel components of the protein kinase C signaling pathway by virtue of their fatty acylation. A 64 kDa palmitoylated protein (p64) was identified that became deacylated following stimulation of quiescent cells with serum, FGF, or PDBu, suggesting that stimulus-dependent deacylation might alter interactions between p64 and other membrane/cytoskeletal components. A myristoylated protein of 68 kDa observed during these studies was identified as the "80K" PKC substrate. This protein was acylated cotranslationally with myristate through an amide linkage. The majority of the 80K protein was tightly associated with the plasma membrane, with approximately 20% in the cytosol. Although phosphorylation of the membrane-bound and soluble forms of the protein was increased 6-fold in response to PDBu, no changes in the subcellular distribution or myristoylation of the protein were observed. A cDNA encoding the murine form of this protein was cloned, and its deduced amino acid sequence revealed the presence of an N-terminal myristoylation consensus and five potential sites for phosphorylation by PKC. A mutant in which the N-terminal glycine residue was changed to alanine was no longer a substrate for NMT and consequently lost its membrane-binding potential. However, its ability to be phosphorylated in response to purified growth factors and phorbol esters was unimpaired. These results indicate that the myristoylated N-terminus of the 80K protein is required for its association with the plasma membrane, and that the cytoplasmic form of the protein can be phosphorylated independently of the membrane-bound form. Mutants of PKC were constructed in which the regulatory domain was removed and replaced by the N-terminus of the 80K or Al proteins. Unexpectedly, both the myristoylated and nonmyristoylated fusion proteins were tightly associated with the nuclear envelope. Further deletion analyses mapped nuclear targeting signals to the hinge region and a portion of the catalytic domain of PKC, explaining the ability of PKC to be translocated to the nucleus in response to certain stimuli.

Subject Area

Cellular biology

Recommended Citation

James, Guy Lamar, "Fatty acylated proteins and the protein kinase C signaling pathway" (1991). Texas Medical Center Dissertations (via ProQuest). AAI9210715.