In vitro protein phosphorylation in head preparations from normal and mutant Drosophila melanogaster. Academic Article uri icon


  • We have characterized protein phosphorylation in vitro in subcellular fractions from Drosophila melanogaster heads. Optimal conditions for the incorporation of 32P into proteins, and its dependence on ATP, divalent cations, and cyclic nucleotides have been determined, as well as the effect of inhibitors of ATPase, protein phosphatase, and protein kinase on protein phosphorylation. Among these inhibitors, Zn2+ was found to affect the incorporation of 32P into specific bands and p-hydroxymercuribenzoate was found to be most suited for freezing the activity of both kinases and phosphatases. Cyclic AMP-dependent protein kinase (cAMP-dPK) activity was present in both supernatant (S2) and particulate (P2) fractions, with the majority (60-85%, depending on the homogenization medium) being associated with S2, as determined by phosphorylation of exogenous synapsin I. cAMP-dPK catalyzed the phosphorylation of at least 18 endogenous polypeptides in S2 and at least 10 endogenous polypeptides in P2. These proteins could be classified on the basis of the extent of stimulation of phosphorylation by cyclic nucleotides, dependence on cyclic nucleotide concentration, and rate of phosphorylation. A phosphoprotein of 51 kilodaltons (pp51) was a major component of the S2 and P2 fractions and displayed properties expected from the regulatory subunit of the cAMP-dPK, R-II. A phosphoprotein doublet of approximately 37 kilodaltons (pp37) was stimulated to the largest extent by cAMP in the P2 and S2 fractions. The phosphorylation of several proteins in both fractions was significantly lowered by the mammalian Walsh inhibitor of cAMP-dPK, whereas in some cases the stimulation of phosphorylation of the same proteins by exogeneous cAMP was relatively small. Phosphoproteins from two learning mutants known to be deficient in cAMP metabolism, dnc and rut, were analyzed for their extent of phosphorylation in the presence of a stable cAMP analogue; no significant differences from normal were detected, suggesting that the genetic defect in cAMP metabolism is not accompanied by constituent abnormalities in phosphorylated substrates in the adult fly, and that the physiological defects in these mutants result from aberrations in the interaction of the cAMP cascade with normal substrates. The majority of Ca2+/calmodulin kinase activity (80-90%, depending on the homogenization procedure) was associated with S2, as revealed by phosphorylation of exogenous synapsin I. Two endogenous substrates for this kinase in P2 had molecular masses of approximately 45 and 87 kilodaltons. At least 11 substrates for the Ca2+/calmodulin-dependent kinase were detected in S2.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 400 WORDS)

publication date

  • October 1987