Synthetic peptide analogs of DARPP-32 (Mr 32,000 dopamine- and cAMP-regulated phosphoprotein), an inhibitor of protein phosphatase-1. Phosphorylation, dephosphorylation, and inhibitory activity

J Biol Chem. 1990 Nov 25;265(33):20369-76.


Synthetic peptides based on the threonine phosphorylation site and proposed inhibitory site of DARPP-32 (dopamine- and cAMP-regulated phosphoprotein, Mr = 32,000 as determined by sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis) were prepared and analyzed as substrates for cAMP-dependent protein kinase and protein phosphatases-1c, -2Ac (the catalytic subunits of protein phosphatase-1 and 2A, respectively) and -2B, and as inhibitors of protein phosphatase-1c. Studies of the kinetics of phosphorylation of the peptides by cAMP-dependent protein kinase indicated an important role in facilitating phosphorylation for the region COOH-terminal to the phosphorylatable threonyl residue. Studies of the dephosphorylation of the phosphopeptides demonstrated that they were effectively dephosphorylated by protein phosphatase-2A and -2B and poorly dephosphorylated by protein phosphatase-1. The active inhibitory region of phospho-DARPP-32 was analyzed by determining the effects of synthetic phosphopeptides on the activity of protein phosphatase-1c. Phospho-D32-(8-48) and phospho-D32-(8-38) inhibited protein phosphatase-1c with IC50 values of 2 x 10(-8) and 4 x 10(-8) M, respectively, compared with an IC50 of 8 x 10(-9) M for intact phospho-DARPP-32. Phospho-D32-(9-38) was equipotent with phospho-D32-(8-38); however, further NH2-terminal deletions resulted in marked reductions in IC50 values. An analog of an active DARPP-32 phosphopeptide containing a phosphoseryl residue in place of the phosphothreonyl residue also exhibited a much reduced IC50. These data identify the essential inhibitory region of phospho-DARPP-32 as residues 9-38, which contains the phosphorylation site (Thr34). This region exhibits extensive amino acid sequence identity with phosphatase inhibitor-1, a distinct inhibitor of protein phosphatase-1. Kinetic studies of the inhibition of protein phosphatase-1c by phospho-D32-(9-38), a potent inhibitor, as well as by phospho-D32-(10-38), a weak inhibitor, indicated a mixed competitive/noncompetitive mechanism of inhibition, as has been previously found for both intact phospho-DARPP-32 and intact phospho-inhibitor-1. These findings support the hypothesis that a 30-amino acid domain in the NH2-terminal region of phospho-DARPP-32 is sufficient for the inhibition of protein phosphatase-1.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Animals
  • Brain / metabolism
  • Cattle
  • Dopamine and cAMP-Regulated Phosphoprotein 32
  • Kinetics
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Muscles / metabolism
  • Nerve Tissue Proteins / pharmacology*
  • Peptides / chemical synthesis
  • Peptides / pharmacology*
  • Phosphopeptides / metabolism
  • Phosphoprotein Phosphatases / antagonists & inhibitors*
  • Phosphoproteins / pharmacology*
  • Phosphorylation
  • Protein Kinases / metabolism*
  • Protein Phosphatase 1
  • Protein Phosphatase 2
  • Rabbits
  • Sequence Homology, Nucleic Acid
  • Structure-Activity Relationship
  • Substrate Specificity


  • Dopamine and cAMP-Regulated Phosphoprotein 32
  • Nerve Tissue Proteins
  • Peptides
  • Phosphopeptides
  • Phosphoproteins
  • Protein Kinases
  • Phosphoprotein Phosphatases
  • Protein Phosphatase 1
  • Protein Phosphatase 2