Identification of the autophosphorylation sites and characterization of their effects in the protein kinase DYRK1A

Biochem J. 2001 Nov 1;359(Pt 3):497-505. doi: 10.1042/0264-6021:3590497.


Protein kinases of the DYRK ('dual-specificity tyrosine-regulated kinase') family are characterized by a conserved Tyr-Xaa-Tyr motif (Tyr-319-Tyr-321) in a position exactly corresponding to the activation motif of the mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAP kinase) family (Thr-Xaa-Tyr). In a molecular model of the catalytic domain of DYRK1A, the orientation of phosphorylated Tyr-321 is strikingly similar to that of Tyr-185 in the known structure of the activated MAP kinase, extracellular-signal-regulated kinase 2. Consistent with our model, substitution of Tyr-321 but not of Tyr-319 by phenylalanine markedly reduced the enzymic activity of recombinant DYRK1A expressed in either Escherichia coli or mammalian cells. Direct identification of phosphorylated residues by tandem MS confirmed that Tyr-321, but not Tyr-319, was phosphorylated. When expressed in COS-7 cells, DYRK1A was found to be fully phosphorylated on Tyr-321. A catalytically inactive mutant of DYRK1A contained no detectable phosphotyrosine, indicating that Tyr-321 is autophosphorylated by DYRK1A. MS identified Tyr-111 and Ser-97 as additional autophosphorylation sites in the non-catalytic N-terminal domain of bacterially expressed DYRK1A. Enzymic activity was not affected in the DYRK1A-Y111F mutant. The present experimental data and the molecular model indicate that the activity of DYRK1A is dependent on the autophosphorylation of a conserved tyrosine residue in the activation loop.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Line
  • Dyrk Kinases
  • Genes, Reporter
  • Mass Spectrometry
  • Models, Molecular
  • Phosphorylation
  • Phosphotyrosine / metabolism*
  • Point Mutation
  • Protein Conformation
  • Protein Serine-Threonine Kinases / chemistry
  • Protein Serine-Threonine Kinases / genetics
  • Protein Serine-Threonine Kinases / metabolism*
  • Protein Structure, Tertiary
  • Protein-Tyrosine Kinases / chemistry
  • Protein-Tyrosine Kinases / genetics
  • Protein-Tyrosine Kinases / metabolism*
  • Recombinant Fusion Proteins / genetics
  • Recombinant Fusion Proteins / metabolism


  • Recombinant Fusion Proteins
  • Phosphotyrosine
  • Protein-Tyrosine Kinases
  • Protein Serine-Threonine Kinases