Modulation of the G protein regulator phosducin by Ca2+/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase II phosphorylation and 14-3-3 protein binding

J Biol Chem. 2001 Jun 29;276(26):23805-15. doi: 10.1074/jbc.M101482200. Epub 2001 Apr 30.


Phototransduction is a canonical G protein-mediated cascade of retinal photoreceptor cells that transforms photons into neural responses. Phosducin (Pd) is a Gbetagamma-binding protein that is highly expressed in photoreceptors. Pd is phosphorylated in dark-adapted retina and is dephosphorylated in response to light. Dephosphorylated Pd binds Gbetagamma with high affinity and inhibits the interaction of Gbetagamma with Galpha or other effectors, whereas phosphorylated Pd does not. These results have led to the hypothesis that Pd down-regulates the light response. Consequently, it is important to understand the mechanisms of regulation of Pd phosphorylation. We have previously shown that phosphorylation of Pd by cAMP-dependent protein kinase moderately inhibits its association with Gbetagamma. In this study, we report that Pd was rapidly phosphorylated by Ca(2+)/calmodulin-dependent kinase II, resulting in 100-fold greater inhibition of Gbetagamma binding than cAMP-dependent protein kinase phosphorylation. Furthermore, Pd phosphorylation by Ca(2+)/calmodulin-dependent kinase II at Ser-54 and Ser-73 led to binding of the phosphoserine-binding protein 14-3-3. Importantly, in vivo decreases in Ca(2+) concentration blocked the interaction of Pd with 14-3-3, indicating that Ca(2+) controls the phosphorylation state of Ser-54 and Ser-73 in vivo. These results are consistent with a role for Pd in Ca(2+)-dependent light adaptation processes in photoreceptor cells and also suggest other possible physiological functions.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • 14-3-3 Proteins
  • Animals
  • Calcium-Calmodulin-Dependent Protein Kinase Type 2
  • Calcium-Calmodulin-Dependent Protein Kinases / physiology*
  • Cattle
  • Eye Proteins / metabolism*
  • GTP-Binding Protein Regulators
  • Phosphoproteins / metabolism*
  • Phosphorylation
  • Phosphoserine / metabolism
  • Retina / metabolism
  • Tissue Extracts
  • Transducin / metabolism
  • Tyrosine 3-Monooxygenase / metabolism*


  • 14-3-3 Proteins
  • Eye Proteins
  • GTP-Binding Protein Regulators
  • Phosphoproteins
  • Tissue Extracts
  • phosducin
  • Phosphoserine
  • Tyrosine 3-Monooxygenase
  • Calcium-Calmodulin-Dependent Protein Kinase Type 2
  • Calcium-Calmodulin-Dependent Protein Kinases
  • Transducin