The role of N-terminal phosphorylation of DGK-θ

J Lipid Res. 2024 Mar;65(3):100506. doi: 10.1016/j.jlr.2024.100506. Epub 2024 Jan 23.


Diacylglycerol kinases (DGKs) are lipid kinases that mediate the phosphorylation of diacylglycerol (DAG) leading to the production of phosphatidic acid (PtdOH). To examine the role of phosphorylation on DGK-θ, we first identified the phosphorylated sites on endogenous DGK-θ from mouse brain and found four sites: S15, S17, which we refer to phosphomotif-1 sites, and S22 and S26 which we refer to as phosphomotif-2 sites. This study focused on the role of these phosphorylated sites on enzyme activity, membrane binding, thermal stability, and cellular half-life of DGK-θ. After generating a construct devoid of all non-catalytic phosphorylation sites (4A), we also generated other constructs to mimic phosphorylation of these residues by mutating them to glutamate (E). Our data demonstrate that an increase in membrane affinity requires the phosphorylation of all four endogenous sites as the phosphomimetic 4E but not other phosphomimietics. Furthermore, 4E also shows an increase in basal activity as well as an increase in the Syt1-induced activity compared to 4A. It is noteworthy that these phosphorylations had no effect on the thermal stability or cellular half-life of this enzyme. Interestingly, when only one phosphorylation domain (phosphomotif-1 or phosphomotif-2) contained phosphomimetics (S15E/S17E or S22E/S26E), the basal activity was also increased but membrane binding affinity was not increased. Furthermore, when only one residue in each domain mimicked an endogenous phosphorylated serine (S15E/S22E or S17E/S26E), the Syt1-induced activity as well as membrane binding affinity decreased relative to 4A. These results indicate that these endogenous phosphorylation sites contribute differentially to membrane binding and enzymatic activity.

Keywords: DGK-θ; enzyme activity; half-life; membrane binding; phosphorylation; thermal stability.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Diacylglycerol Kinase* / genetics
  • Diacylglycerol Kinase* / metabolism
  • Diglycerides* / metabolism
  • Mice
  • Phosphorylation


  • Diglycerides
  • Diacylglycerol Kinase