Identification of the in vivo casein kinase II phosphorylation site within the homeodomain of the cardiac tisue-specifying homeobox gene product Csx/Nkx2.5

Mol Cell Biol. 1999 Jan;19(1):526-36. doi: 10.1128/MCB.19.1.526.

Abstract

Csx/Nkx2.5, a member of the homeodomain-containing transcription factors, serves critical developmental functions in heart formation in vertebrates and nonvertebrates. In this study the putative nuclear localization signal (NLS) of Csx/Nkx2.5 was identified by site-directed mutagenesis to the amino terminus of the homeodomain, which is conserved in almost all homeodomain proteins. When the putative NLS of Csx/Nkx2.5 was mutated a significant amount of the cytoplasmically localized Csx/Nkx2.5 was unphosphorylated, in contrast to the nuclearly localized Csx/Nkx2.5, which is serine- and threonine-phosphorylated, suggesting that Csx/Nkx2.5 phosphorylation is regulated, at least in part, by intracellular localization. Tryptic phosphopeptide mapping indicated that Csx/Nkx2.5 has at least five phosphorylation sites. Using in-gel kinase assays, we detected a Csx/Nkx2.5 kinase whose molecular mass is approximately 40 kDa in both cytoplasmic and nuclear extracts. Mutational analysis and in vitro kinase assays suggested that this 40-kDa Csx/Nkx2.5 kinase is a catalytic subunit of casein kinase II (CKII) that phosphorylates the serine residue between the first and second helix of the homeodomain. This CKII site is phosphorylated in vivo. CKII-dependent phosphorylation of the homeodomain increased Csx/Nkx2. 5 DNA binding. Serine-to-alanine mutation at the CKII phosphorylation site reduced transcriptional activity when the carboxyl-terminal repressor domain was deleted. Although the precise biological function of Csx/Nkx2.5 phosphorylation by CKII remains to be determined, it may play an important role, as this CKII phosphorylation site within the homeodomain is fully conserved in all known members of the NK2 family of the homeobox genes.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Binding Sites
  • Casein Kinase II
  • Cell Nucleus / metabolism
  • Cytoplasm / metabolism
  • DNA-Binding Proteins / metabolism
  • GATA4 Transcription Factor
  • Genes, Homeobox
  • Homeobox Protein Nkx-2.5
  • Homeodomain Proteins / genetics
  • Homeodomain Proteins / metabolism*
  • Mutagenesis
  • Myocardium
  • Nuclear Localization Signals
  • Phosphorylation
  • Protein-Serine-Threonine Kinases / metabolism*
  • Transcription Factors / genetics
  • Transcription Factors / metabolism*
  • Transcription, Genetic
  • Xenopus Proteins*

Substances

  • DNA-Binding Proteins
  • GATA4 Transcription Factor
  • Homeobox Protein Nkx-2.5
  • Homeodomain Proteins
  • NKX2-5 protein, human
  • Nuclear Localization Signals
  • Transcription Factors
  • Xenopus Proteins
  • Casein Kinase II
  • Protein-Serine-Threonine Kinases