Protein kinases have evolved diverse specificities to enable cellular information processing. To gain insight into the mechanisms underlying kinase diversification, we studied the CMGC protein kinases using ancestral reconstruction. Within this group, the cyclin dependent kinases (CDKs) and mitogen activated protein kinases (MAPKs), require proline at the +1 position of their substrates, while Ime2 prefers arginine. The resurrected common ancestor of CDKs, MAPKs and Ime2 could phosphorylate substrates with +1 proline or arginine, with preference for proline. This specificity changed to a strong preference for +1 arginine in the lineage leading to Ime2 via an intermediate with equal specificity for proline and arginine. Mutant analysis revealed that a variable residue within the kinase catalytic cleft, DFGx, modulates +1 specificity. Expansion of Ime2 kinase specificity by mutation of this residue did not cause dominant deleterious effects in vivo. Tolerance of cells to new specificities likely enabled the evolutionary divergence of kinases.
- James Ferrell, Stanford University, United States
- Received: July 23, 2014
- Accepted: October 9, 2014
- Accepted Manuscript published: October 13, 2014 (version 1)
- Accepted Manuscript updated: October 14, 2014 (version 2)
- Version of Record published: November 12, 2014 (version 3)
- Version of Record updated: April 29, 2016 (version 4)
- Version of Record updated: August 5, 2016 (version 5)
© 2014, Howard et al.
This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License permitting unrestricted use and redistribution provided that the original author and source are credited.
Dystroglycan (DG) requires extensive post-translational processing and O-glycosylation to function as a receptor for extracellular matrix (ECM) proteins containing laminin-G-like (LG) domains. Matriglycan is an elongated polysaccharide of alternating xylose (Xyl) and glucuronic acid (GlcA) that binds with high-affinity to ECM proteins with LG-domains and is uniquely synthesized on α-dystroglycan (α-DG) by like-acetylglucosaminyltransferase-1 (LARGE1). Defects in the post-translational processing or O-glycosylation of α-DG that result in a shorter form of matriglycan reduce the size of α-DG and decrease laminin binding, leading to various forms of muscular dystrophy. Previously, we demonstrated that Protein O-Mannose Kinase (POMK) is required for LARGE1 to generate full-length matriglycan on α-DG (~150-250 kDa) (Walimbe et al., 2020). Here, we show that LARGE1 can only synthesize a short, non-elongated form of matriglycan in mouse skeletal muscle that lacks the DG N-terminus (α-DGN), resulting in a ~100-125 kDa α-DG. This smaller form of α-DG binds laminin and maintains specific force but does not prevent muscle pathophysiology, including reduced force production after eccentric contractions or abnormalities in the neuromuscular junctions. Collectively, our study demonstrates that α-DGN, like POMK, is required for LARGE1 to extend matriglycan to its full mature length on α-DG and thus prevent muscle pathophysiology.
The malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum synthesizes significant amounts of phospholipids to meet the demands of replication within red blood cells. De novo phosphatidylcholine (PC) biosynthesis via the Kennedy pathway is essential, requiring choline that is primarily sourced from host serum lysophosphatidylcholine (lysoPC). LysoPC also acts as an environmental sensor to regulate parasite sexual differentiation. Despite these critical roles for host lysoPC, the enzyme(s) involved in its breakdown to free choline for PC synthesis are unknown. Here, we show that a parasite glycerophosphodiesterase (PfGDPD) is indispensable for blood stage parasite proliferation. Exogenous choline rescues growth of PfGDPD-null parasites, directly linking PfGDPD function to choline incorporation. Genetic ablation of PfGDPD reduces choline uptake from lysoPC, resulting in depletion of several PC species in the parasite, whilst purified PfGDPD releases choline from glycerophosphocholine in vitro. Our results identify PfGDPD as a choline-releasing glycerophosphodiesterase that mediates a critical step in PC biosynthesis and parasite survival.