Analysis of serotonin N-acetyltransferase regulation in vitro and in live cells using protein semisynthesis.

Department of Pharmacology and Molecular Sciences, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland 21205, USA.
Biochemistry (Impact Factor: 3.38). 10/2008; 47(39):10407-19. DOI: 10.1021/bi801189d
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Serotonin N-acetyltransferase [arylalkylamine N-acetyltransferase (AANAT)] is a key circadian rhythm enzyme that drives the nocturnal production of melatonin in the pineal. Prior studies have suggested that its light and diurnal regulation involves phosphorylation on key AANAT Ser and Thr residues which results in 14-3-3zeta recruitment and changes in catalytic activity and protein stability. Here we use protein semisynthesis by expressed protein ligation to systematically explore the effects of single and dual phosphorylation of AANAT on acetyltransferase activity and relative affinity for 14-3-3zeta. AANAT Thr31 phosphorylation on its own can enhance catalytic efficiency up to 7-fold through an interaction with 14-3-3zeta that lowers the substrate K m. This augmented catalytic profile is largely abolished by double phosphorylation at Thr31 and Ser205. A possible basis for this difference is the dual anchoring of doubly phosphorylated AANAT via one 14-3-3zeta heterodimer. We have developed a novel solution phase assay for accurate K D measurements of 14-3-3zeta-AANAT interaction using 14-3-3zeta fluorescently labeled with rhodamine by expressed protein ligation. We have also generated a doubly fluorescently labeled AANAT which can be used to assess the stability of this protein in a live cell, real-time assay by fluorescence resonance energy transfer measured by microscopic imaging. These studies offer new insights into the molecular basis of melatonin regulation and 14-3-3zeta interaction.

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