Although numerous extracellular phosphoproteins have been identified, the protein kinases within the secretory pathway have only recently been discovered, and their regulation is virtually unexplored. Fam20C is the physiological Golgi casein kinase, which phosphorylates many secreted proteins and is critical for proper biomineralization. Fam20A, a Fam20C paralog, is essential for enamel formation, but the biochemical function of Fam20A is unknown. Here we show that Fam20A potentiates Fam20C kinase activity and promotes the phosphorylation of enamel matrix proteins in vitro and in cells. Mechanistically, Fam20A is a pseudokinase that forms a functional complex with Fam20C, and this complex enhances extracellular protein phosphorylation within the secretory pathway. Our findings shed light on the molecular mechanism by which Fam20C and Fam20A collaborate to control enamel formation, and provide the first insight into the regulation of secretory pathway phosphorylation.
Animal experimentation: Procedures involving mice were reviewed and approved by the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) at the UC San Diego (Protocol #S03039).
- Tony Hunter, Salk Institute, United States
© 2015, Cui et al.
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The interaction between an active kinase and an ‘inactive’ pseudokinase provides clues about how these enzymes were regulated in the past, and how this regulation has evolved.
Signal-anchored (SA) proteins are anchored into the mitochondrial outer membrane (OM) via a single transmembrane segment at their N-terminus while the bulk of the proteins is facing the cytosol. These proteins are encoded by nuclear DNA, translated on cytosolic ribosomes, and are then targeted to the organelle and inserted into its OM by import factors. Recently, research on the insertion mechanisms of these proteins into the mitochondrial OM have gained a lot of attention. In contrast, the early cytosolic steps of their biogenesis are unresolved. Using various proteins from this category and a broad set of in vivo, in organello, and in vitro assays, we reconstituted the early steps of their biogenesis. We identified a subset of molecular (co)chaperones that interact with newly synthesized SA proteins, namely, Hsp70 and Hsp90 chaperones and co-chaperones from the Hsp40 family like Ydj1 and Sis1. These interactions were mediated by the hydrophobic transmembrane segments of the SA proteins. We further demonstrate that interfering with these interactions inhibits the biogenesis of SA proteins to a various extent. Finally, we could demonstrate direct interaction of peptides corresponding to the transmembrane segments of SA proteins with the (co)chaperones and reconstitute in vitro the transfer of such peptides from the Hsp70 chaperone to the mitochondrial Tom70 receptor. Collectively, this study unravels an array of cytosolic chaperones and mitochondrial import factors that facilitates the targeting and membrane integration of mitochondrial SA proteins.