TGF-β inhibited membrane-associated protein (TIMAP) is greatly expressed in endothelial cell lines and serves as a protein phosphatase 1 (PP1) regulatory subunit. Phosphorylation state of TIMAP, through affecting PP1 activity, has a remarkable effect on endothelial barrier function. Here we present evidence for a previously unidentified PKC phosphorylation site in TIMAP. Protein-protein interaction was detected in pulmonary endothelial cells between endogenous TIMAP and activated PKCα. PKCα phosphorylated the full length recombinant TIMAP in in vitro kinase assay and Ser331 of TIMAP was shown to be phosphorylated by PKC. Phosphorylation of TIMAP upon PKC activation in endothelial cells results in enrichment of TIMAP in the membrane, but no such change can be observed in PKC depleted cells. However, the previously identified PKA/GSK-3β induced enrichment of TIMAP at the plasma membrane was not affected in the absence of PKC. Interaction between TIMAP and the TIMAP-PP1 substrate phospho-ERM was described earlier, but now we show that binding of PKC phosphorylated TIMAP to ERM is severely reduced. This suggests an inhibitory effect of phospho-Ser331 on TIMAP-PP1 activity toward phospho-ERM. Accordingly, phospho-ERM level in the membrane fraction of the phospho-mimic S331D TIMAP mutant transfected cells was increased, but the S331A mutant overexpressing endothelial cells had a lower phospho-ERM level. Consistent with the phospho-ERM level, electric resistance measurements showed that the S331A mutation of TIMAP resulted in faster recovery from the PMA treatment. Taken together, phosphorylation of TIMAP on Ser331 by PKC represents a new mechanism of endothelial barrier regulation, through the inhibition of phospho-ERM dephosphorylation.
Keywords: Endothelial cells; Protein kinase C; Protein phosphatase 1; TIMAP.
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