Article

The crystal structure of the active form of the C-terminal kinase domain of mitogen- and stress-activated protein kinase 1.

The Hormel Institute University of Minnesota, 801 16th Avenue NE, Austin, MN 55912, USA.
Journal of Molecular Biology (Impact Factor: 3.91). 04/2010; 399(1):41-52. DOI: 10.1016/j.jmb.2010.03.064
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Mitogen- and stress-activated protein kinase 1 (MSK1) is a growth-factor-stimulated serine/threonine kinase that is involved in gene transcription regulation and proinflammatory cytokine stimulation. MSK1 is a dual kinase possessing two nonidentical protein kinase domains in one polypeptide. We present the active conformation of the crystal structures of its C-terminal kinase domain in apo form and in complex with a nonhydrolyzable ATP analogue at 2.0 A and 2.5 A resolutions, respectively. Structural analysis revealed substantial differences in the contacts formed by the C-terminal helix, which is responsible for the inactivity of other autoinhibited kinases. In the C-terminal kinase domain of MSK1, the C-terminal alphaL-helix is located in the surface groove, but forms no hydrogen bonds with the substrate-binding loop or nearby helices, and does not interfere with the protein's autophosphorylation activity. Mutational analysis confirmed that the alphaL-helix is inherently nonautoinhibitory. Overexpression of the single C-terminal kinase domain in JB6 cells resulted in tumor-promoter-induced neoplastic transformation in a manner similar to that induced by the full-length MSK1 protein. The overall results suggest that the C-terminal kinase domain of MSK1 is regulated by a novel alphaL-helix-independent mechanism, suggesting that a diverse mechanism of autoinhibition and activation might be adopted by members of a closely related protein kinase family.

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