Article
To read the full-text of this research, you can request a copy directly from the authors.

Abstract

Thymidylate synthase (TS) was found to be a substrate for both catalytic subunits of human CK2, with phosphorylation by CK2alpha and CK2alpha' characterized by similar K(m) values, 4.6microM and 4.2microM, respectively, but different efficiencies, the apparent turnover number with CK2alpha being 10-fold higher. With both catalytic subunits, phosphorylation of human TS, like calmodulin and BID, was strongly inhibited in the presence of the regulatory subunit CK2beta, the holoenzyme being activated by polylysine. Phosphorylation of recombinant human, rat, mouse and Trichinella spiralis TSs proteins was compared, with the human enzyme being apparently a much better substrate than the others. Following hydrolysis and TLC, phosphoserine was detected in human and rat, and phosphotyrosine in T. spiralis, TS, used as substrates for CK2alpha. MALDI-TOF MS analysis led to identification of phosphorylated Ser(124) in human TS, within a sequence LGFS(124)TREEGD, atypical for a CK2 substrate recognition site. The phosphorylation site is located in a region considered important for the catalytic mechanism or regulation of human TS, corresponding to the loop 107-128. Following phosphorylation by CK2alpha, resulting in incorporation of 0.4mol of phosphate per mol of dimeric TS, human TS exhibits unaltered K(m) values for dUMP and N(5,10)-methylenetetrahydrofolate, but a 50% lower turnover number, pointing to a strong influence of Ser(124) phosphorylation on its catalytic efficiency.

No full-text available

Request Full-text Paper PDF

To read the full-text of this research,
you can request a copy directly from the authors.

... There was no change in K m for either dUMP or meTHF (it was considered likely that the K m values observed in the experiment characterized active, unmodified enzyme molecules, rather than those phosphorylated), but the enzyme catalytic efficiency, determined as the value, appeared to be lowered by 50% by the modification. 7 The latter pointed to a strong influence of human TS Ser 124 phosphorylation on the enzyme activity, as CK2α used in that experiment was found to be capable to phosphorylate only about 40% of human TS molecules. Of note is that rat, mouse and Trichinella spiralis TS proteins are also CK2 substrates. ...
... In the T. spiralis TS, Tyr 118, an amino acid residue corresponding to human TS Ser 124, has been identified as the most probable site of phosphorylation. 7 As discussed in Fra czyk et al., 7 there seems to be a strong possibility of TS to undergo CK2-catalyzed phosphorylation in vivo, however, definitive experimental evidence of this has yet to be obtained, that is, by an antibody against a (phos)Ser124-containing peptide corresponding to this region of the TS sequence. ...
... In the T. spiralis TS, Tyr 118, an amino acid residue corresponding to human TS Ser 124, has been identified as the most probable site of phosphorylation. 7 As discussed in Fra czyk et al., 7 there seems to be a strong possibility of TS to undergo CK2-catalyzed phosphorylation in vivo, however, definitive experimental evidence of this has yet to be obtained, that is, by an antibody against a (phos)Ser124-containing peptide corresponding to this region of the TS sequence. ...
Article
Regulation by phosphorylation is a well-established mechanism for controlling biological activity of proteins. Recently, phosphorylation of serine 124 in human thymidylate synthase (hTS) has been shown to lower the catalytic activity of the enzyme. To clarify a possible mechanism of the observed influence, molecular dynamics (MD), essential dynamics (ED) and MM-GBSA studies were undertaken. Structures derived from the MD trajectories reveal incorrect binding alignment between the pyrimidine ring of the substrate, dUMP, and the pterine ring of the cofactor analogue, THF, in the active site of the phosphorylated enzyme. The ED analysis indicates changes in the behavior of collective motions in the phosphorylated enzyme, suggesting that the formation of the closed ternary complex is hindered. Computed free energies, in agreement with structural analysis, predict that the binding of dUMP and THF to hTS is favored in the native compared to phosphorylated state of the enzyme. The paper describes at the structural level how phosphorylation at the distant site influences the ligand binding. We propose that the 'phosphorylation effect' is transmitted from the outside loop of Ser 124 into the active site via a subtle mechanism initiated by the long-range electrostatic repulsion between the phosphate groups of dUMP and Ser124. The mechanism can be described in terms of the interplay between the two groups of amino acids: the link (residues 125-134) and the patch (residues 189-192), resulting in the change of orientation of the pyrimidine ring of dUMP, which, in turn, prevents the correct alignment between the latter ring and the pterin ring of THF.
... Recombinant human protein kinase GST-CK2 a was produced by bacteria and purified as described elsewhere. 40 The phosphorylation reactions were conducted at 37 °C for 5 min in 50 μl samples each containing 1 pmol of human recombinant CK2α, 40 mM of peptide substrate (RRRADDSDDDDD), and an appropriate concentration of the tested compounds (0.1-200 µM). The reaction buffer contained 20 µM [γ-32P]ATP (specific radioactivity 300-1000 cpm pmol −1 ), 15 mM Mg 2+ , 20 mM Tris-HCl pH 7.5, and 6 mM 2-mercaptoethanol. 10 µl of the assay mixture was spotted onto a square (1 cm/1 cm) of Whatman P81 paper and allowed to dry. ...
Article
In this article we describe our efforts in the search of MMP2/CK2 dual targeting inhibitors. We have followed a rational drug design approach based on our experience in the selective inhibition of these two enzymes. We have successfully obtained highly active MMP2 (10, IC50=70 nM; 11, IC50=100 nM) and CK2 (16a, IC50=500 nM) inhibitors. However, structural fine tunning of these small molecules to simultaneously target both enzymes turned to be an unattainable goal. Unexpectedly, we were lucky to identify new and selective MMP13 inhibitors (10, IC50=3.7 nM and 11, IC50=5.6 nM) provided with a novel TBB-derived scaffold. These compounds constitute an interesting starting point for further optimization.
... 9 ). Several of the identified serine residues had previously been reported to undergo phosphorylation, with mouse TS Ser 10 and Ser 16 found phosphorylated endogenously in FdUrd-resistant L1210 cells (see above) and human TS Ser 124 found to be a substrate for CK2 kinase [30] . Interestingly, mouse TS Ser 118 , homologous to human Ser 124 , was found to undergo phosphorylation both in vivo, in the recombinant protein expressed in bacterial cells, and in vitro (Table 4;Fig. ...
... Zastosowanie MALDI-TOF MS pozwoliło zidentyfikować Ser 124 jako miejsce fosforylacji. Modyfikacja nie zmieniała wartości K m , natomiast obniżała wartość V max katalizowanej przez ST reakcji [68]. Zastosowanie modelowania molekularnego pozwoliło ocenić mechanizm tego wpływu [69]. ...
Article
Full-text available
Thymidylate synthase ThyA (EC 2.1.1.45; encoded by the Tyms gene), having been for 60 years a molecular target in chemotherapy, catalyses the dUMP pyrimidine ring C(5) methylation reaction, encompassing a transfer of one-carbon group (the methylene one, thus at the formaldehyde oxidation level) from 6R-N5,10-methylenetetrahydrofolate, coupled with a reduction of this group to the methyl one, with concomitant generation of 7,8-dihydrofolate and thymidylate. New facts are presented, concerning (i) molecular mechanism of the catalyzed reaction, including the substrate selectivity mechanism, (ii) mechanism of inhibition by a particular inhibitor, N4-hydroxy-dCMP, (iii) structural properties of the enzyme, (iv) cellular localization, (v) potential posttranslational modifications of the enzyme protein and their influence on the catalytic properties and (vi) non-catalytic activities of the enzyme.
... In breast cancer cells, O-GlcNAcylation of Sp1 regulates its stability and its transcriptional activity [169,170]. In parallel, phosphorylation of TS at Ser124 by casein kinase 2 α subunit (CK2α) decreases its catalytic activity [171] but by interacting with CK2α Thr344 phosphorylation, O-GlcNAcylation at Ser347 decreases the stability of the kinase [172] ( Figure 4E). Therefore, O-GlcNAcylation of CK2α should indirectly increase catalytic activity of TS. ...
Article
Full-text available
Colorectal cancer (CRC) is the fourth leading cause of cancer-related deaths in the world. Drug resistance of tumour cells remains the main challenge toward curative treatments efficiency. Several epidemiologic studies link emergence and recurrence of this cancer to metabolic disorders. Glycosylation that modifies more than 80% of human proteins is one of the most widepread nutrient-sensitive post-translational modifications. Aberrant glycosylation participates in the development and progression of cancer. Thus, some of these glycan changes like carbohydrate antigen CA 19-9 (sialyl Lewis a, sLea) or those found on carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA) are already used as clinical biomarkers to detect and monitor CRC. The current review highlights emerging evidences accumulated mainly during the last decade that establish the role played by altered glycosylations in CRC drug resistance mechanisms that induce resistance to apoptosis and activation of signaling pathways, alter drug absorption and metabolism, and led to stemness acquisition. Knowledge in this field of investigation could aid to the development of better therapeutic approaches with new predictive biomarkers and targets tied in with adapted diet.
... This small population of the inactive conformation in the apo form indicates that the inactive state plays essentially no role in the substrate binding thermodynamics/activity of the enzyme, suggesting that perhaps its only role is to enable binding to the hTS mRNA (Brunn et al., 2014). Alternatively, the population of the inactive conformation may be increased by modification of hTS, such as the previously reported phosphorylation of the extended loop (Fraczyk et al., 2010). ...
Article
Full-text available
Human thymidylate synthase (hTS) is essential for DNA replication and therefore a therapeutic target for cancer. Effective targeting requires knowledge of the mechanism(s) of regulation of this 72 kDa homodimeric enzyme. Here, we investigate the mechanism of binding cooperativity of the nucleotide substrate. We have employed exquisitely sensitive methyl-based CPMG and CEST NMR experiments enabling us to identify residues undergoing bifurcated linear 3-state exchange, including concerted switching between active and inactive conformations in the apo enzyme. The inactive state is populated to only ~1.3%, indicating that conformational selection contributes negligibly to the cooperativity. Instead, methyl rotation axis order parameters, determined by ² H transverse relaxation rates, suggest that rigidification of the enzyme upon substrate binding is responsible for the entropically-driven cooperativity. Lack of the rigidification in product binding and substrate binding to an N-terminally truncated enzyme, both non-cooperative, support this idea. In addition, the lack of this rigidification in the N-terminal truncation indicates that interactions between the flexible N-terminus and the rest of the protein, which are perturbed by substrate binding, play a significant role in the cooperativity—a novel mechanism of dynamic allostery. Together, these findings yield a rare depth of insight into the substrate binding cooperativity of an essential enzyme.
... Although there is some evidence demonstrating that 5-FU induced the upregulation of NF-κB protein expression [34], an increase of phosphorylation of Ser529 in NF-κB-p65 subunit in 5-FU-treated MDA-MB-231 cells seemed to be correlated rather with an increase of CK2 activity than with total expression of p65 as no significant differences in its relative expression were detected. Therefore, it should be taken into account that TS is a substrate for CK2 [35] and upregulated level of TS resulting from the formation of the TS-F-dUMP complex could contribute to an increase of CK2 activity. ...
Article
Full-text available
Background: The combination effect of 5-fluorouracil (5-FU) with either CX-4945 or a new inhibitor of protein kinase CK2, namely 14B (4,5,6,7-tetrabromo-1-(3-bromopropyl)-2-methyl-1H-benzimidazole), on the viability of MCF-7 and triple-negative MDA-MB-231 breast cancer cell lines was studied. Methods: Combination index (CI) values were determined using an MTT-based assay and the Chou-Talalay model. The effect of the tested drug combinations on pro-apoptotic properties and cell cycle progression was examined using flow cytometry. The activation of FAK, p38 MAPK, and ERK1/2 kinases and the expression of selected pro-apoptotic markers in MDA-MB-231 cell line after the combined treatment were evaluated by the western blot method. Confocal microscopy was used to examine actin network in MDA-MB-231. Results: Our results showed that a synergistic effect (CI < 1) occurred in MDA-MB-231 after treatment with both combinations of 5-FU with 14B or CX-4945, whereas the combination of 5-FU and 14B evoked an antagonistic effect in MCF-7. We conclude that the synergistic interactions (CI < 1) observed for both the combinations of 5-FU and 14B or CX-4945 in MDA-MB-231 correlated with an activation of p38 MAPK, inhibition of FAK, increased expression of apoptogenic markers, prolongation of S-phase of cell cycle, and destabilization of actin network. Conclusions: The obtained results support the recent observation that CK2 inhibitors can improve 5-FU-based anticancer therapy and FAK kinase can be an attractive molecular target in breast cancer therapy.
... Mouse (mTS), C. elegans (CeTS), and T. spiralis (TspTS) thymidylate synthase recombinant proteins were overexpressed and purified as previously described [22,[35][36][37][38], with phosphatase inhibitors (50 mM NaF, 5 mM Na-pyrophosphate, 0.2 mM EGTA, 0.2 mM EDTA and 2 mM Na 3 VO 4 ) present in the purification buffers. TS activity was measured either spectrophotometrically [39] or with the use of the tritium release assay [40]. ...
Article
Full-text available
Novel evidence is presented allowing further clarification of the mechanism of the slow-binding thymidylate synthase (TS) inhibition by N4-hydroxy-dCMP (N4-OH-dCMP). Spectrophotometric monitoring documented time- and temperature-, and N4-OH-dCMP-dependent TS-catalyzed dihydrofolate production, accompanying the mouse enzyme incubation with N4-OH-dCMP and N5,10-methylenetetrahydrofolate, known to inactivate the enzyme by the covalent binding of the inhibitor, suggesting the demonstrated reaction to be uncoupled from the pyrimidine C(5) methylation. The latter was in accord with the hypothesis based on the previously presented structure of mouse TS (cf. PDB ID: 4EZ8), and with conclusions based on the present structure of the parasitic nematode Trichinella spiralis, both co-crystallized with N4-OH-dCMP and N5,10-methylenetetrahdrofolate. The crystal structure of the mouse TS-N4-OH-dCMP complex soaked with N5,10-methylenetetrahydrofolate revealed the reaction to run via a unique imidazolidine ring opening, leaving the one-carbon group bound to the N(10) atom, thus too distant from the pyrimidine C(5) atom to enable the electrophilic attack and methylene group transfer.
... Posttranslational modifications (PTMs) regulate enzymatic activity, nuclear translocation and degradation of TS. TS is phosphorylated [5,6], SUMOylated [7], N α -acetylated [8], ubiquitinated [8], and O-GlcNAcylated [9,10]. However, the role of these PTMs in the 5-FU response remains unknown. ...
Article
Full-text available
Alteration of O-GlcNAcylation, a dynamic posttranslational modification, is associated with tumorigenesis and tumor progression. Its role in chemotherapy response is poorly investigated. Standard treatment for colorectal cancer (CRC), 5-fluorouracil (5-FU), mainly targets Thymidylate Synthase (TS). TS O-GlcNAcylation was reported but not investigated yet. We hypothesize that O-GlcNAcylation interferes with 5-FU CRC sensitivity by regulating TS. In vivo, we observed that combined 5-FU with Thiamet-G (O-GlcNAcase (OGA) inhibitor) treatment had a synergistic inhibitory effect on grade and tumor progression. 5-FU decreased O-GlcNAcylation and, reciprocally, elevation of O-GlcNAcylation was associated with TS increase. In vitro in non-cancerous and cancerous colon cells, we showed that 5-FU impacts O-GlcNAcylation by decreasing O-GlcNAc Transferase (OGT) expression both at mRNA and protein levels. Reciprocally, OGT knockdown decreased 5-FU-induced cancer cell apoptosis by reducing TS protein level and activity. Mass spectrometry, mutagenesis and structural studies mapped O-GlcNAcylated sites on T251 and T306 residues and deciphered their role in TS proteasomal degradation. We reveal a crosstalk between O-GlcNAcylation and 5-FU metabolism in vitro and in vivo that converges to 5-FU CRC sensitization by stabilizing TS. Overall, our data propose that combining 5-FU-based chemotherapy with Thiamet-G could be a new way to enhance CRC response to 5-FU.
... Comme dit précédemment, une seule des deux sous-unités enzymatiques de la TS lie ses substrats, or, une seule des deux sous-unités est phosphorylée suggérant un lien entre ces deux évènements (Frączyk et al., 2015). In vitro, CK2α catalyse la phosphorylation de la TS humaine sur des résidus Ser, notamment la Ser 124 , entrainant une diminution de son activité catalytique (Fraczyk et al., 2010). ...
Thesis
Full-text available
La O-GlcNAcylation (O-N-acétylglucosaminylation) est une MPT (modification post-traductionnelle) dynamique et réversible catalysée par un unique couple d’enzymes antagonistes : l’OGT (O-GlcNAc transférase) et l’OGA (O GlcNAcase). Elle est considérée comme un véritable senseur nutritionnel et régule un grand nombre de mécanismes cellulaires fondamentaux. En ciblant des oncoprotéines et des suppresseurs de tumeur, sa dérégulation est associée à la cancérogenèse et la progression tumorale. En revanche, son rôle dans la réponse aux thérapies anti-cancéreuses est très peu étudié. Il a été néanmoins montré récemment que l’hyper-O-GlcNAcylation impacte la réponse de certains cancers à des drogues telles que le tamoxifène, le cisplatine, le bortézomib et le 5-FU (5-fluorouracile). Le 5-FU est la chimiothérapie de référence du CCR (cancer colorectal) et la TS (Thymidylate Synthase) sa cible principale. La surexpression de la TS est un biomarqueur de résistance au 5-FU utilisé en clinique. La TS a été montrée comme étant O-GlcNAcylée mais le rôle de cette MPT n’a pas été élucidé. Il nous est donc paru intéressant d’analyser le « cross-talk » entre O-GlcNAcylation et réponse au 5-FU dans le CCR dans l’hypothèse que la O-GlcNAcylation pourrait impacter la sensibilité au 5-FU en régulant sa cible TS. Un modèle murin in vivo de CCR humains et des cellules coliques non cancéreuses et cancéreuses ont été utilisés pour analyser l’effet du 5-FU sur la O-GlcNAcylation globale des protéines et réciproquement l’impact de la O-GlcNAcylation sur le niveau et l’activité de la TS, et la réponse au 5-FU. Nos données in vitro corroborent nos résultats in vivo et soutiennent que le 5-FU diminue la O-GlcNAcylation globale et que, réciproquement, la O-GlcNAcylation augmente le niveau de TS et sensibilise le CCR au 5-FU. Nous avons déchiffré le mécanisme moléculaire sous-jacent mettant en lumière le rôle de la O-GlcNAcylation dans la stabilisation de la TS et sa protection contre la dégradation protéasomale. Deux sites de O-GlcNAcylation de la TS ont été identifiés : la Thr251 à l’interface de dimérisation de l’enzyme et la Thr306 dans la séquence dégron carboxy-terminale connue pour contrôler sa dégradation. Ensemble nos résultats proposent une nouvelle stratégie thérapeutique combinant le 5-FU à un inhibiteur de l’OGA afin d’améliorer la réponse du CCR à la chimiothérapie à base de 5-FU.
... Recombinant human protein kinase GST-CK2a was produced in bacteria and purified as described elsewhere [32]. The plasmid carrying the gene encoding human protein kinase Rio1 (residues 143-494) was kindly gifted by Professor Nicole LaRonde-LeBlanc (University of Maryland, USA). ...
Article
Full-text available
Benzimidazole derivatives of 5,6-dichlorobenzimidazole 1-β-d-ribofuranoside (DRB) comprise the important class of protein kinase CK2 inhibitors. Depending on the structure, benzimidazoles inhibit CK2 with different selectivity and potency. Besides CK2, the compounds can inhibit, with similar activity, other classical eukaryotic protein kinases (e.g. PIM, DYRK, and PKD). The present results show that a majority of the most common CK2 inhibitors can affect the atypical kinase Rio1 in a nanomolar range. Kinetic data confirmed the mode of action of benzimidazoles as typical ATP-competitive inhibitors. In contrast to toyocamycin—the first discovered small-molecule inhibitor of Rio1—the most potent representative of benzimidazoles TIBI (IC50 = 0.09 µM, Ki = 0.05 µM) does not influence the oligomeric state of the Rio1 kinase. Docking studies revealed that TIBI can occupy the ATP-binding site of Rio1 in a manner similar to toyocamycin, and enhances the thermostability of the enzyme.
Article
Dihydrofolate reductase (DHFR) is a prominent molecular target in antitumor, antibacterial, antiprotozoan, and immunosuppressive chemotherapies, and CK2 protein kinase is an ubiquitous enzyme involved in many processes, such as tRNA and rRNA synthesis, apoptosis, cell cycle or oncogenic transformation. We show for the first time that CK2α subunit strongly interacted with and phosphorylated DHFR in vitro. Using quartz crystal microbalance with dissipation monitoring (QCM-D) we determined DHFR-CK2α binding kinetic parameters (K d below 0.5 μM, k on = 10.31 × 10 ⁴ M ⁻¹ s ⁻¹ and k off = 1.40 × 10 ⁻³ s ⁻¹ ) and calculated Gibbs free energy (−36.4 kJ/mol). In order to identify phosphorylation site(s) we used site-directed mutagenesis to obtain several DHFR mutants with predicted CK2-phosphorylable serine or threonine residues substituted with alanines. All enzyme forms were subjected to CK2α subunit catalytic activity and the results pointed to serine 168 as a phosphorylation site. Mass spectrometry analyses confirmed the presence of phosphoserine 168 and revealed additionally the presence of phosphoserine 145, although the latter phosphorylation was on a very low level.
Article
Full-text available
Thymidylate synthase (TS), dihydrofolate reductase (DHFR), and serine hydroxymethyltransferase (SHMT) constitute the thymidylate synthesis cycle providing thymidylate for DNA synthesis and repair. Our previous studies indicated that TS and DHFR are the substrates of protein kinase CK2. This work has been aimed at the elucidation of the effect of CK2 activity on cell cycle progression, thymidylate synthesis enzyme expression and localization, and the role of CK2-mediated TS phosphorylation in in vitro di- and trimolecular complex formation. The results were obtained by means of western blot, confocal microscopy, flow cytometry, quantitative polymerase chain reaction (QPCR), quartz crystal microbalance with dissipation monitoring (QCM-D), and microthermophoresis (MST). Our research indicates that CK2 inhibition does not change the levels of the transcripts; however, it affects the protein levels of DHFR and TS in both tested cell lines, i.e., A549 and CCRF-CEM, and the level of SHMT1 in CCRF-CEM cells. Moreover, we show that CK2-mediated phosphorylation of TS enables the protein (pTS) interaction with SHMT1 and leads to the stability of the tri-complex containing SHMT1, DHFR, and pTS. Our results suggest an important regulatory role of CK2-mediated phosphorylation for inter- and intracellular protein level of enzymes involved in the thymidylate biosynthesis cycle.
Article
Drug entities able to address multiple targets can be more effective than those directed to just one biological target. We disclose herein a series of novel dual inhibitors to target histone deacetylase 1 (HDAC 1) and protein kinase CK2. Our bifunctional compounds combine two complementary chemo-active prototypical scaffolds: a hydroxamate essential for the chelation of the zinc ion present in the active site of HDAC (Zinc Binding Group), and a 4,5,6,7-tetrabromobenzotriazole (TBB) moiety introduced to interact with the ATP binding site in CK2 and to act simultaneously as the cap group in the interaction with HDAC1. The synthesized dual-acting agents exhibited promising inhibitory activities towards HDAC1 and CK2. The best result was obtained for 5c with an IC50 of 5 μM for both enzymes. However, its N-2 substituted isomer 5e presented the best profile in cell-based assays, with cytotoxic activity in the low micromolar LC50 in two mammalian cancer cell lines and 4-fold less activity towards a pseudonormal mammalian cell line. Furthermore, this hybrid molecule induced apoptosis in leukemia cells in a concentration-dependent manner. All together this makes 5e a promising lead compound for future in vivo assays in animal tumor models.
Article
Enzymes involved in thymidylate biosynthesis, thymidylate synthase (TS) and dihydrofolate reductase (DHFR), are well known targets in cancer chemotherapy. In this study we demonstrated for the first time, that human TS and DHFR form a strong complex in vitro and co-localize in human normal and colon cancer cell cytoplasm and nucleus. Treatment of cancer cells with methotrexate or 5-fluorouracil did not affect the distribution of either enzyme within the cells. However, 5-FU, but not MTX, lowered the presence of DHFR-TS complex in the nucleus by 2.5-fold. The results may suggest the sequestering of TS by FdUMP in the cytoplasm and thereby affecting the translocation of DHFR-TS complex to the nucleus. Providing a strong likelihood of DHFR-TS complex formation in vivo, the latter complex is a potential new drug target in cancer therapy. In this paper, known 3D structures of human TS and human DHFR, and some protozoan bifunctional DHFR-TS structures as templates, are used to build an in silico model of human DHFR-TS complex structure, consisting of one TS dimer and two DHFR monomers. This complex structure may serve as an initial 3D drug target model for prospective inhibitors targeting interfaces between the DHFR and TS enzymes.
Article
Full-text available
A new series of 4,5,6,7-tetrabromobenzotriazole (TBB) derivatives was synthesized and characterized as CK2 inhibitors. They were readily synthesized using a click chemistry approach based on a Cu(i)-catalyzed azide-alkyne 1,3-dipolar cycloaddition (CuAAC). Some of the synthesized compounds present interesting inhibitory activities using an in vitro assay, with Ki values in the low micro molar range and a high degree of selectivity against a panel of 24 kinases. Selected compounds were tested for their antiproliferative effect on several cancer cell lines, and for their proapoptotic activity towards human Jurkat T-leukemia and MCF-7 breast adenocarcinoma cells, showing that they can be proposed as promising anticancer agents. Docking studies as well as crystallographic analysis allowed us to identify ligand-CK2 interactions that account for the molecular recognition process, and can help to further optimize this family of compounds as CK2 inhibitors. This journal is
Article
Crystal structure is presented of the binary complex between potassium phosphoramidate-phosphorylated recombinant C. elegans thymidylate synthase and dUMP. On each monomer a single phosphoserine residue (Ser127) was identified, instead of expected phosphohistidine. As 31P NMR studies of both the phosphorylated protein and of potassium phosphoramidate potential to phosphorylate different amino acids, point to histidine as the only possible site of the modification, thermodynamically favored intermolecular phosphotransfer from histidine to serine is suggested.
Article
Thymidylate synthase (TS) is a well-validated cancer target that undergoes conformational switching between active and inactive states. Two mutant human TS (hTS) proteins are predicted from crystal structures to be stabilized in an inactive conformation to differing extents, with M190K populating the inactive conformation to a greater extent than A191K. Studies of intrinsic fluorescence and circular dichroism revealed that the structures of the mutants differ from those of hTS. Inclusion of the substrate dUMP was without effect on M190K but induced structural changes in A191K that are unique, relative to hTS. The effect of strong stabilization in an inactive conformation on protein phosphorylation by casein kinase 2 (CK2) was investigated. M190K was highly phosphorylated by CK2 relative to an active-stabilized mutant, R163K hTS. dUMP had no detectable effect on phosphorylation of M190K; however, dUMP inhibited phosphorylation of hTS and R163K. Studies of temperature dependence of catalysis revealed that the E(act) and temperature optimum are higher for A191K than hTS. The potency of the active-site inhibitor, raltitrexed, was lower for A191K than hTS. The response of A191K to the allosteric inhibitor, propylene diphosphonate (PDPA) was concentration dependent. Mixed inhibition was observed at low concentrations; at higher concentrations, A191K exhibited nonhyperbolic behavior with respect to dUMP and inhibition of catalysis was reversed by substrate saturation. In summary, inactive-stabilized mutants differ from hTS in thermal stability and response to substrates and PDPA. Importantly, phosphorylation of hTS by CK2 is selective for the inactive conformation, providing the first indication of physiological relevance for conformational switching.
Article
Full-text available
Protein kinase casein kinase-2 (CK2) is a spontaneously active, ubiquitous, and pleiotropic enzyme that phosphorylates seryl/threonyl residues specified by multiple negatively charged side chains, the one at position n + 3 being of crucial importance (minimum consensus S/T-x-x-E/D/S(P)/T(P). Recently CK2 has been reported to catalyze phosphorylation of the yeast nucleolar immunophilin Fpr3 at a tyrosyl residue (Tyr(184)) fulfilling the consensus sequence of Ser/Thr substrates (Wilson, L.K., Dhillon, N., Thorner, J., and Martin, G.S. (1997) J. Biol. Chem. 272, 12961-12967). Here we show that, by contrast to other tyrosyl peptides fulfilling the consensus sequence for CK2, a peptide reproducing the sequence around Fpr3 Tyr(184) (DEDADIY(184)DEEDYDL) is phosphorylated by CK2, albeit with much higher K(m) (384 versus 4. 3 microM) and lower V(max) (8.4 versus 1,132 nmol.min(-1).mg(-1)) than its derivative with Tyr(184) replaced by serine. The replacement of Asp at position n + 1 with alanine and, to a lesser extent, of Ile at n - 1 with Asp are especially detrimental to tyrosine phosphorylation as compared with serine phosphorylation, which is actually stimulated by the Ile to Asp modification. In contrast the replacement of Glu at n + 3 with alanine almost suppresses serine phosphorylation but not tyrosine phosphorylation. It can be concluded that CK2 is capable to phosphorylate, under special circumstances, tyrosyl residues, which are specified by structural features partially different from those that optimize Ser/Thr phosphorylation.
Article
Full-text available
Thymidylate synthase (TS) may undergo phosphorylation as endogenous protein present in mammalian cells and as recombinant protein (corresponding to human, rat, mouse or Trichinella spiralis TS) expressed in bacterial cells. The phosphorylated, compared to non-phosphorylated, recombinant enzyme forms show decreased (at least by 3-fold) molecular activity, bind their cognate mRNA (tested only with the rat enzyme) and repress their own mRNA translation (tested with human, rat and mouse enzyme). Recombinant human, mouse, rat and Trichinella spiralis TSs, expressed in E. coli, undergo phosphorylation on histidine residues; so do probably L1210 and calf thymus endogenous TS proteins. Endogenous calf thymus and L1210 thymidylate synthase proteins undergo nitration in vivo. Chemical nitration of human, mouse and C. elegans recombinant TS proteins distinctly affects catalytic potency, by lowering the V max app value.
Article
Full-text available
Motivation: An EXCEL template has been developed for the calculation of enzyme kinetic parameters by non-linear regression techniques. The tool is accurate, inexpensive, as well as easy to use and modify. Availability: The program is available from http://www.ebi.ac.uk/biocat/biocat.html Contact: agustin. hernandez@bio.kuleuven.ac.be
Article
Full-text available
Thymidylate synthase (TS; 5,10-methylenetetrahydrofolate:dUMP C-methyltransferase, EC 2.1.1.45) is essential for the de novo synthesis of thymidylate, a precursor of DNA. Previous studies have shown that the cellular level of this protein is regulated at both the transcriptional and posttranscriptional levels. The regulation of human TS mRNA translation was studied in vitro with a rabbit reticulocyte lysate system. The addition of purified human recombinant TS protein to in vitro translation reactions inhibited translation of TS mRNA. This inhibition was specific in that recombinant TS protein had no effect on the in vitro translation of mRNA for human chromogranin A, human folate receptor, preplacental lactogen, or total yeast RNA. The inclusion of dUMP, 5-fluoro-dUMP, or 5,10-methylene-tetrahydrofolate in in vitro translation reactions completely relieved the inhibition of TS mRNA translation by TS protein. Gel retardation assays confirmed a specific interaction between TS protein and its corresponding mRNA but not with unrelated mRNAs, including human placenta, human beta-actin, and yeast tRNA. These studies suggest that translation of TS mRNA is controlled by its own protein end product, TS, in an autoregulatory manner.
Article
Full-text available
A molecular docking computer program (DOCK) was used to screen the Fine Chemical Directory, a database of commercially available compounds, for molecules that are complementary to thymidylate synthase (TS), a chemotherapeutic target. Besides retrieving the substrate and several known inhibitors, DOCK proposed putative inhibitors previously unknown to bind to the enzyme. Three of these compounds inhibited Lactobacillus casei TS at submillimolar concentrations. One of these inhibitors, sulisobenzone, crystallized with TS in two configurations that differed from the DOCK-favored geometry: a counterion was bound in the substrate site, which resulted in a 6 to 9 angstrom displacement of the inhibitor. The structure of the complexes suggested another binding region in the active site that could be exploited. This region was probed with molecules sterically similar to sulisobenzone, which led to the identification of a family of phenolphthalein analogs that inhibit TS in the 1 to 30 micromolar range. These inhibitors do not resemble the substrates of the enzyme. A crystal structure of phenolphthalein with TS shows that it binds in the target site in a configuration that resembles the one suggested by DOCK.
Article
Full-text available
Protein kinase CK2 (also known as casein kinase 2) is a messenger-independent protein serine/threonine kinase ubiquitously distributed in eukaryotes. CK2 has been found to phosphorylate a wide variety of cytosolic and nuclear substrates which are intimately involved in regulation of DNA, RNA, and protein synthesis, and differentiation. We therefore addressed the hypothesis that malignant transformation of upper aerodigestive tract mucosa to squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck (SCCHN) might be associated with altered CK2 activity. To this end, we subjected surgical specimens of SCCHN tumors and of normal oropharyngeal mucosa to subcellular fractionation. We then quantitated CK2 activity in cytosol and nuclei of these specimens using a CK2-specific peptide substrate (Arg-Arg-Arg-Glu-Glu-Glu-Thr-Glu-Glu-Glu). We found that CK2 activity was significantly elevated in both nuclear (p < 0.0005) and cytosolic (p < 0.0034) compartments of SCCHN tumors, relative to normal oropharyngeal mucosa. Moreover, CK2 activity in the cellular cytosolic fraction of SCCHN tumors was associated with less differentiated histologic grade (p < 0.037), positive nodal metastatic status (p < 0.056), and a poor clinical outcome (p < 0.028). Kaplan-Meier cumulative survival analysis revealed greatly reduced survival in the high-CK2 activity patient group, with high statistical significance (p < 0.023). These preliminary data reveal that malignant transformation of the upper aerodigestive tract mucosa is associated with altered CK2 activity. The results further suggest that dysregulation of this protein kinase may play a significant role in the pathobiology of SCCHN, and that CK2 activity may be a prognostic indicator in this malignancy.
Article
Full-text available
Thymidylate synthase (TS), an enzyme that is essential for DNA synthesis, was found to be associated mainly with the nucleolar region of H35 rat hepatoma cells, as determined both by immunogold electron microscopy and by autoradiography. In the latter case, the location of TS was established through the use of [6-3H]5-fluorodeoxyuridine, which forms a tight ternary complex of TS with 5-fluorodeoxyuridylate (FdUMP) and 5, 10-methylenetetrahydrofolylpolyglutamate within the cell. However, with H35 cells containing 50-100-fold greater amounts of TS than unmodified H35 cells, the enzyme, although still in the nucleus, was located primarily in the cytoplasm as shown by autoradiography and immunohistochemistry. In addition, TS was also present in mitochondrial extracts of both cell lines, as determined by enzyme activity measurements and by ternary complex formation with [32P]FdUMP and 5,10-methylenetetrahydrofolate. Another unique observation is that the enzyme appears to be a phosphoprotein, similar to that found for other proteins associated with cell division and signal transduction. The significance of these findings relative to the role of TS in cell division remains to be determined, but suggest that this enzyme's contribution to the cell cycle may be more complex than believed previously.
Article
Full-text available
In the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae, the nucleolar immunophilin, Fpr3, is phosphorylated at tyrosine and dephosphorylated by the phosphotyrosine-specific phosphoprotein phosphatase, Ptp1. In Ptp1-deficient cells, Fpr3 contains phospho-Tyr at a single site (Tyr184), but also contains phospho-Ser and phospho-Thr. Ser186 (adjacent to Tyr184) is situated within a canonical site for phosphorylation by casein kinase II (CKII). Yeast cell lysates contain an activity that binds to Fpr3 in vitro and phosphorylates Fpr3 at Ser, Thr, and Tyr; this activity was found to be dependent on expression of functional yeast CKII. Moreover, purified Fpr3 was phosphorylated on Tyr184 in vitro by either purified yeast CKII or purified, bacterially-expressed human CKII. Likewise, phosphorylation of Fpr3 at tyrosine in vivo was markedly enhanced in yeast cells overexpressing a heterologous (Drosophila) CKII, but was undetectable in yeast cells carrying only a temperature-sensitive allele of the endogenous CKII, even when the cells were grown at a permissive temperature. Phosphorylation of Fpr3 at Tyr184 by CKII in vitro lagged behind phosphorylation of Fpr3 at Ser, and was accelerated by pre-phosphorylation of Fpr3 at Ser using CKII. Furthermore, synthetic peptides corresponding to the sequence surrounding Tyr184 that contained P-Ser (or Glu) at position 186 were much more efficient substrates for CKII phosphorylation of Tyr184 than a synthetic peptide containing Ala at position 186. These findings indicate that CKII phosphorylates Fpr3 at tyrosine and serine both in vivo andin vitro and thus possesses dual specificity. These results also indicate that Tyr184 is phosphorylated by CKII via a two-step process, in which phosphorylation at the +2 position provides a negatively-charged specificity determinant that allows subsequent phosphorylation of Tyr184.
Article
Full-text available
The catalytic subunits of protein kinase CK2, CK2alpha and CK2alpha', are closely related to each other but exhibit functional specialization. To test the hypothesis that specific functions of CK2alpha and CK2alpha' are mediated by specific interaction partners, we used the yeast two-hybrid system to identify CK2alpha- or CK2alpha'-binding proteins. We report the identification and characterization of a novel CK2-interacting protein, designated CKIP-1, that interacts with CK2alpha, but not CK2alpha', in the yeast two-hybrid system. CKIP-1 also interacts with CK2alpha in vitro and is co-immunoprecipitated from cell extracts with epitope-tagged CK2alpha and an enhanced green fluorescent protein fusion protein encoding CKIP-1 (i.e. EGFP-CKIP-1) when they are co-expressed. CK2 activity is detected in anti-CKIP-1 immunoprecipitates performed with extracts from non-transfected cells indicating that CKIP-1 and CK2 interact under physiological conditions. The CKIP-1 cDNA is broadly expressed and encodes a protein with a predicted molecular weight of 46,000. EGFP-CKIP-1 is localized within the nucleus and at the plasma membrane. The plasma membrane localization is dependent on the presence of an amino-terminal pleckstrin homology domain. We postulate that CKIP-1 is a non-enzymatic regulator of one isoform of CK2 (i.e. CK2alpha) with a potential role in targeting CK2alpha to a particular cellular location.
Article
Full-text available
To gain insights into the molecular basis for metastasis, we compared the global gene expression profile of metastatic colorectal cancer with that of primary cancers, benign colorectal tumors, and normal colorectal epithelium. Among the genes identified, the PRL-3 protein tyrosine phosphatase gene was of particular interest. It was expressed at high levels in each of 18 cancer metastases studied but at lower levels in nonmetastatic tumors and normal colorectal epithelium. In 3 of 12 metastases examined, multiple copies of the PRL-3 gene were found within a small amplicon located at chromosome 8q24.3. These data suggest that the PRL-3 gene is important for colorectal cancer metastasis and provide a new therapeutic target for these intractable lesions.
Article
Full-text available
Mouse thymidylate synthase R209K (a mutation corresponding to R218K in Lactobacillus casei), overexpressed in thymidylate synthase-deficient Escherichia coli strain, was poorly soluble and with only feeble enzyme activity. The mutated protein, incubated with FdUMP and N(5,10)-methylenetetrahydrofolate, did not form a complex stable under conditions of SDS/polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis. The reaction catalyzed by the R209K enzyme (studied in a crude extract), compared to that catalyzed by purified wild-type recombinant mouse thymidylate synthase, showed the K(m) value for dUMP 571-fold higher and V(max) value over 50-fold (assuming that the mutated enzyme constituted 20% of total crude extract protein) lower. Thus the ratios k(cat, R209K)/k(cat, 'wild') and (k(cat, R209K)/K(m, R209K)(dUMP))/( k(cat, 'wild')/K(m, 'wild')(dUMP)) were 0.019 and 0.000032, respectively, documenting that mouse thymidylate synthase R209, similar to the corresponding L. casei R218, is essential for both dUMP binding and enzyme reaction.
Article
Full-text available
Multidomain proteins predominate in eukaryotic proteomes. Individual functions assigned to different sequence segments combine to create a complex function for the whole protein. While on-line resources are available for revealing globular domains in sequences, there has hitherto been no comprehensive collection of small functional sites/motifs comparable to the globular domain resources, yet these are as important for the function of multidomain proteins. Short linear peptide motifs are used for cell compartment targeting, protein–protein interaction, regulation by phosphorylation, acetylation, glycosylation and a host of other post-translational modifications. ELM, the Eukaryotic Linear Motif server at http://elm.eu.org/, is a new bioinformatics resource for investigating candidate short non-globular functional motifs in eukaryotic proteins, aiming to fill the void in bioinformatics tools. Sequence comparisons with short motifs are difficult to evaluate because the usual significance assessments are inappropriate. Therefore the server is implemented with several logical filters to eliminate false positives. Current filters are for cell compartment, globular domain clash and taxonomic range. In favourable cases, the filters can reduce the number of retained matches by an order of magnitude or more.
Article
Full-text available
The persistent expression of thymidylate synthase activity has previously been demonstrated not only in adult forms, but also in non-developing muscle larvae of Trichinella spiralis and T. pseudospiralis, pointing to an unusual pattern of cell cycle regulation, and prompting further studies on the developmental pattern of T. spiralis thymidylate synthase gene expression. The enzyme cDNA was cloned and sequenced, allowing the characterization of a single open reading frame of 307 amino acids coding for a putative protein of 35,582 Da molecular weight. The amino acid sequence of the parasite enzyme was analysed, the consensus phylogenetic tree built and its stability assessed. The aa sequence identity with thymidylate synthase was confirmed by the enzymatic activity of the recombinant protein expressed in E. coli. As compared with the enzyme purified from muscle larvae, it showed apparently similar Vmax value, but higher Km(app) values desscribing interactions with dUMP (28.8 microM vs. 3.9 microM) and (6RS,alphaS)-N(5,10)-methylenetetrahydrofolate (383 microM vs. 54.7 microM). With the coding region used as a probe, thymidylate synthase mRNA levels, relative to 18S rRNA, were found to be similar in muscle larvae, adult forms and newborn larvae, in agreement with muscle larvae cells being arrested in the cell cycle.
Article
Full-text available
Recent methodologies applied to the drug discovery process, such as genomics and proteomics, have greatly implemented our basic understanding of drug action and are giving more input to medicinal chemists, in finding genuinely new targets and opportunities for the development of drugs with original mechanisms of action. In this paper, an example of the successful application of some new techniques to the target enzymes with the Thymidylate Synthase (TS) function is given. The improved knowledge of the complex mechanism of the biological pathways in which thymidylate synthase is involved represents a unique chance to find new mechanism-based inhibitors, aimed to treat not only cancerous diseases, but also infectious pathologies. Thymidylate synthase (TS or ThyA) has long been considered as one of the best-known drug targets in the anti-cancer area, after which old and new drugs, such as 5-fluoro uracil and the anti-folate ZD1694, have been introduced into chemotherapy to treat solid tumours. Only a few attempts have been made to find non-classical anti-folate inhibitors that are dissimilar to the folate co-factor, with the aim of finding unshared protein target domains on the enzyme structure, in order to specifically inhibit TS enzymes from pathogens. Only recently from omic studies, a new Thymidylate Synthase Complementing Protein (TSCP or ThyX) has been identified in a number of pathogens, showing a different structure with respect to human TS, thus opening new avenues to specific inhibitions. A depiction of the most recent progress in the study of Thymidylate Synthase enzymes is presented in the following sections.
Article
Full-text available
Thymidylate synthase purified from 5-fluoro-dUrd-resistant mouse leukemia L1210 cells (TSr) was less sensitive to slow-binding inhibition by 5-fluoro-dUMP than the enzyme from the parental cells (TSp), both enzyme forms differing also in sensitivity to several other dump analogues, apparent molecular weights of monomer and dimer, and temperature dependence of the catalyzed reaction. Direct sequencing of products obtained from RT-PCR, performed on total RNA isolated from the parental and 5-fluoro-dUrd-resistant cells, proved both nucleotide sequences to be identical to the mouse thymidylate synthase coding sequence published earlier (NCBI protein database access no. NP_067263). This suggests that the altered properties of TSr are caused by a factor different than protein mutation, presumably posttranslational modification. As a possibility of rat thymidylate synthase phosphorylation has been recently demonstrated (Samsonoff et al. (1997) J Biol Chem 272: 13281), the mouse enzyme amino-acid sequence was analysed, revealing several potential phosphorylation sites. In order to test possible influence of the protein phosphorylation state on enzymatic properties, endogenous TSp and TSr were purified in the presence of inhibitors of phosphatases. Although both enzyme forms were phosphorylated, as shown by electrophoretical separation followed by phosphoprotein detection, the extent of phosphorylation was apparently similar. However, the same two purified enzyme preparations, compared to the corresponding preparations purified in the absence of phosphatase inhibitors, showed certain properties, including sensitivity to the slow-binding inhibition by FdUMP, altered. Thus properties dependence on phosphorylation was indicated.
Article
Full-text available
ScanProsite—http://www.expasy.org/tools/scanprosite/—is a new and improved version of the web-based tool for detecting PROSITE signature matches in protein sequences. For a number of PROSITE profiles, the tool now makes use of ProRules—context-dependent annotation templates—to detect functional and structural intra-domain residues. The detection of those features enhances the power of function prediction based on profiles. Both user-defined sequences and sequences from the UniProt Knowledgebase can be matched against custom patterns, or against PROSITE signatures. To improve response times, matches of sequences from UniProtKB against PROSITE signatures are now retrieved from a pre-computed match database. Several output modes are available including simple text views and a rich mode providing an interactive match and feature viewer with a graphical representation of results.
Article
Full-text available
Protein kinase CK2 is implicated in cellular proliferation and transformation. However, the clinical and biological significances of CK2 have not been elucidated in acute myeloid leukemia (AML). We evaluated the biological significances of catalytic subunit of CK2 (CK2alpha) expression in leukemia cell lines and primary leukemic blasts obtained from AML patients. In this study, the expression of CK2alpha was elevated in a substantial proportion of AML. In AML patients with normal karyotype, the disease-free survival and overall survival rates were significantly lower in the CK2alpha-high compared with the CK2alpha-low AML cases (P=0.0252 and P=0.0392, respectively). An induced overexpression of CK2alpha increased the levels of Ser473 phosphorylated (p)-Akt/protein kinase B (PKB), p-PDK1, pFKHR, p-BAD, Bcl-2, Bcl-xL, Mcl-1, and XIAP. Treatment of U937 cell line and primary AML blasts with selective CK2 inhibitor, tetrabromobenzotriazole or apigenin, reduced the levels of these molecules in a dose-dependent manner. CK2alpha small interfering RNA treatment also resulted in a down-regulation of p-Akt/PKB and Bcl-2 in U937 cells. Apigenin-induced cell death was preferentially observed in the CK2alpha-high leukemia cell lines, HL-60 and NB4, which was accompanied by cytoplasmic release of SMAC/DIABLO and proteolytic cleavage of procaspase-9, procaspase-3, procaspase-8, and poly(ADP)ribose polymerase. An induced overexpression of CK2alpha potentially enhanced the sensitivity of U937 cells to the apigenin-induced cell death. Apigenin-induced cell death was significantly higher in CK2alpha-high AML compared with CK2alpha-low AML (P<0.0001) or normal bone marrow samples (P<0.0001). These findings strongly suggest protein kinase CK2alpha as an unfavorable prognostic marker and novel therapeutic target in AML.
Article
The noncatalytic beta-subunit is responsible for the latency of casein kinase 2 (CK2) activity toward calmodulin. Twenty-one mutants of the beta-subunit bearing either deletions or Ala substitutions for charged residues in the 5-6, 55-70, and 171-178 sequences have been assayed for their ability to substitute for wild-type beta-subunit as a suppressor of activity toward calmodulin. The only mutations that reduced the ability of the beta-subunit to suppress calmodulin phosphorylation activity, though being compatible with normal reconstitution of CK2 holoenzyme, were those affecting Asp55, Glu57 and the whole triplet Glu59-Asp-Glu61. The activity of CK2 holoenzyme, either native or reconstituted, toward calmodulin can be elicited by a variety of polybasic effectors, including polylysine, polyarginine, salmine, and histones H4, H3, and, to a lesser extent, H2a and H2b. Histone H1 and polyamines are conversely ineffective. The latent ''calmodulin kinase' activity of CK2 can also be specifically unmasked by a peptide (alpha[66-86]) reproducing a basic insert of the catalytic subunit. This effect is reversed by equimolar addition of a peptide (beta[55-71]) including the 55-64 acidic stretch of the beta-subunit. Comparable polylysine stimulation was observed with the holoenzymes reconstituted with either beta(wt) or the beta mutants capable of assembling with the alpha-subunit, with the notable exception of those bearing Ala substitutions for acidic residues at positions 55, 57, and 59-61. These were nearly insensitive to 42 nM polylysine, which conversely promotes a more than 10-fold increase of calmodulin phosphorylation with wild-type beta. Together, these results show that the negative control of the beta-subunit over CK2 activity toward calmodulin is crucially dependent on the integrity of an acidic cluster in the 55-64 sequence which is also primarily responsible for the specific responsiveness to polycationic effectors.
Article
VMD is a molecular graphics program designed for the display and analysis of molecular assemblies, in particular biopolymers such as proteins and nucleic acids. VMD can simultaneously display any number of structures using a wide variety of rendering styles and coloring methods. Molecules are displayed as one or more "representations," in which each representation embodies a particular rendering method and coloring scheme for a selected subset of atoms. The atoms displayed in each representation are chosen using an extensive atom selection syntax, which includes Boolean operators and regular expressions. VMD provides a complete graphical user interface for program control, as well as a text interface using the Tcl embeddable parser to allow for complex scripts with variable substitution, control loops, and function calls. Full session logging is supported, which produces a VMD command script for later playback. High-resolution raster images of displayed molecules may be produced by generating input scripts for use by a number of photorealistic image-rendering applications. VMD has also been expressly designed with the ability to animate molecular dynamics (MD) simulation trajectories, imported either from files or from a direct connection to a running MD simulation. VMD is the visualization component of MDScope, a set of tools for interactive problem solving in structural biology, which also includes the parallel MD program NAMD, and the MDCOMM software used to connect the visualization and simulation programs. VMD is written in C++, using an object-oriented design; the program, including source code and extensive documentation, is freely available via anonymous ftp and through the World Wide Web.
Article
Protein kinase CK2 exhibits oncogenic activity in mice and is over-expressed in a number of tumors or leukemic cells. On the basis of its amino acid sequence and a wealth of experimental information, CK2 has traditionally been classified as a protein serine/threonine kinase. In contrast to this traditional view of CK2, recent evidence has shown that CK2 can also phosphorylate tyrosine residues under some circumstances in vitro and in yeast. In this study, we provide definitive evidence demonstrating that CK2 also exhibits tyrosine kinase activity in mammalian cells. Tyrosine phosphorylation of CK2 in cells and in CK2 immunoprecipitates is dependent on CK2 activity and is inhibited by the CK2 selective inhibitor 4,5,6,7-tetrabromobenzotriazole. Examination of phosphotyrosine profiles in cells reveals a number of proteins, including CK2 itself, which exhibit increased tyrosine phosphorylation when CK2 levels are increased. Peptide arrays to evaluate the specificity determinants for tyrosine phosphorylation by CK2 reveal that its specificity for tyrosine phosphorylation is distinct from its specificity for serine/threonine phosphorylation. Of particular note is the requirement for an aspartic acid immediately C-terminal to the phosphorylatable tyrosine residue. Collectively, these data provide conclusive evidence that CK2 catalyzes the phosphorylation of tyrosine residues in mammalian cells, a finding that adds a new level of complexity to the challenge of elucidating its cellular functions. Furthermore, these results raise the possibility that increased CK2 levels that frequently accompany transformation may contribute to the increased tyrosine phosphorylation that occurs in transformed cells.
Article
Casein kinase II of Saccharomyces cerevisiae contains two distinct catalytic subunits, alpha and alpha', which are encoded by the CKA1 and CKA2 genes, respectively. Null mutations in the CKA1 gene do not confer a detectable phenotype (J. L.-P. Chen-Wu, R. Padmanabha, and C. V. C. Glover, Mol. Cell. Biol. 8:4981-4990, 1988), presumably because of the presence of the CKA2 gene. We report here the cloning, sequencing, and disruption of the CKA2 gene. The alpha' subunit encoded by the CKA2 gene is 60% identical to the CKA1-encoded alpha subunit and 55% identical to the Drosophila alpha subunit (A. Saxena, R. Padmanabha, and C. V. C. Glover, Mol. Cell. Biol. 7:3409-3417, 1987). Deletions of the CKA2 gene were constructed by gene replacement techniques. Haploid cells in which the CKA2 gene alone is disrupted show no detectable phenotype, but haploid cells carrying disruptions in both the CKA1 and CKA2 genes are inviable. Cells in which casein kinase II activity is depleted increase substantially in size prior to growth arrest, and a significant fraction of the arrested cells exhibit a pseudomycelial morphology. Disruption of the activity also results in flocculation. Yeast strains lacking both endogenous catalytic subunit genes can be rescued by expression of the alpha and beta subunits of Drosophila casein kinase II or by expression of the Drosophila alpha subunit alone, suggesting that casein kinase II function has been conserved through evolution.
Article
The factors determining the site recognition and phosphorylation by rat liver casein kinase-2 (CK-2) have been explored with a set of 14 related hexapeptides each including a single phosphorylatable amino acid and five acidic plus neutral residues. Such peptides are different from each other in the following features: (a) the nature of the phosphorylatable amino acid, if any; (b) its position relative to the critically required acidic residues; (c) the extension and (d) the structure of the acidic cluster. All of them were tested as substrates and/or competitive inhibitors of CK-2, and their kinetic and inhibition constants were determined. The results suggest the following conclusions. (a) Under strictly comparable conditions Ser is by far preferred over Thr. Tyr not being affected at all. (b) In order to carry out its role of structural determinant the critical acidic cluster must be located on the C-terminal side of the target residue, though not necessarily adjacent to it. (c) The affinity for the protein-binding site, as deduced from Km and/or Ki values, is largely dependent on the number of acidic residues but it is also significantly enhanced if a hydroxylic residue is located on their N-terminal side. (d) An acidic residue at position +3 relative to serine plays an especially important role for triggering phosphorylation, the peptide Ser-Glu-Glu-Ala-Glu-Glu having similar Km but negligible Vmax compared to Ser-Glu-Ala-Glu-Glu-Glu and Ser-Glu-Glu-Glu-Ala-Glu. These data provide a rationale for the substrate specificity of CK-2 and will give a helpful insight into the structure of the protein-binding site of this enzyme.
Article
Thymidylate synthetase from 5-fluorodeoxyuridine-resistant Ehrlich ascites carcinoma cells was purified to a state close to electrophoretical homogeneity (sp. act. = 1.3 mumoles/min/mg protein) and studied in parallel with the homogeneous preparation of the enzyme from the parental Ehrlich ascites carcinoma cells. The enzyme from the resistant cells compared to that from the parental cells showed: (i) a higher turnover number (at least 91 against 31 min-1), (ii) a higher inhibition constant (19 against 1.9 nM) for FdUMP (a tight-binding inhibitor of both enzymes), (iii) a lower activation energy at temps above 36 degrees (1.37 against 2.59 kcal/mole), and (iv) a lower inhibition constant (26 against 108 microM) for dTMP, inhibiting both enzymes competitively vs dUMP.
Article
Thymidylate synthase (TS, EC 2.1.1.45) catalyzes the reductive methylation of dUMP by CH2H4folate to produce dTMP and H2folate. Knowledge of the catalytic mechanism and structure of TS has increased substantially over recent years. Major advances were derived from crystal structures of TS bound to various ligands, the ability to overexpress TS in heterologous hosts, and the numerous mutants that have been prepared and analyzed. These advances, coupled with previous knowledge, have culminated in an in-depth understanding of many important molecular details of the reaction. We review aspects of TS catalysis that are most pertinent to understanding the current status of the structure and catalytic mechanism of the enzyme. Included is a discussion of available sources and assays for TS, a description of the enzyme's chemical mechanism and crystal structure, and a summary of data obtained from mutagenesis experiments.
Article
Two cDNA clones representing rat hepatoma thymidylate synthase (rTS) were isolated from a lambda ZAP II cDNA library using as a probe a fragment of the human TS cDNA. The two were identical except that one was missing 50 bp and the other 23 bp corresponding to the 5' coding region of the protein. The missing region was obtained by screening a rat genomic library. The open reading frame of rTS cDNA encoded 921 bp encompassing a protein of 307 amino acids with a calculated molecular mass of 35,015 Da. Rat hepatoma TS appears identical to normal rat thymus TS and the two sequences differ from mouse TS in the same eight amino acid residues. Six of these differences are in the first 21 amino acids from the amino-end. The human enzyme differed from rat and mouse TS at 17 residues where the latter two were identical, with most changes being conservative in nature. The three species differed completely at only four sites. Because the mouse TS shares four amino acids with human TS at sites which differ from rTS and a comparable situation does not exist between rTS and human TS, it is suggested that mouse TS is closer to human TS phylogenetically than rTS. The polymerase chain reaction was used to subclone the protein coding region of rTS into a high expression vector, which expressed rTS in Escherichia coli to the extent of 10 to 20% of its cellular protein. Although the amino-end of the amplified TS was unblocked, that isolated from a FUdR-resistant rat hepatoma cell line contained mostly N-acetylmethionine on its N-terminal end, a finding that may have significant regulatory consequences, which are discussed. The TS level in the resistant cell line was 60 to 70-fold higher than normal which was found to be associated with both multiple gene copies and an expanded TS mRNA pool.
Article
Protein kinase CK2 (also known as casein kinase II) is a ubiquitous eukaryotic ser/thr protein kinase present in the nucleus and cytoplasm. CK2 is known to phosphorylate more than 100 substrates, many of which are involved in the control of cell division and in signal transduction. The review centers on the structure and function of CK2 alpha and beta subunits and on the regulation of its activity, a topic that remains to be elucidated. An analogy is drawn between CK2 and the cyclin-dependent kinases (cdks); both types of protein kinases share many substrates and are activated by regulatory subunits.
Article
Twenty-one mutants of the noncatalytic beta-subunit of human casein kinase-2 have been created, expressed in Escherichia coli, and purified to homogeneity. They are either modified at the autophosphorylation site (mutants beta delta 1-4 and beta A 5,6) or bear variable deletions in their C-terminal part (mutants beta delta 209-215, beta delta 194-215, beta delta 181-215, beta delta 171-215, beta delta 150-215) or have undergone Ala substitutions for the acidic and basic residues which are concentrated in the sequences 55-70 and 171-180, respectively. All these mutants have been examined for their ability to functionally replace the wild type beta-subunit. All substitutions and the deletions delta 1-4, delta 194-215, and delta 209-215 are compatible with effective binding of the catalytic alpha-subunit, as judged by sucrose density gradient analysis, stimulation of catalytic activity, and protection against thermal denaturation. Deletions delta 171-215 and delta 150-215, however, give rise to truncated molecules which are unable to associate with the alpha-subunit. The intermediate deletion delta 181-215 is still compatible with association, albeit the reconstituted holoenzyme exhibits an altered sedimentation coefficient. The holoenzymes reconstituted with substituted mutants beta A 55,57, beta A55-57, and, to a lesser extent, beta A 59-61, beta A63,64, and beta A5,6 display a basal activity which is higher (up to 4-fold) than that of the wild type holoenzyme.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)
Article
VMD is a molecular graphics program designed for the display and analysis of molecular assemblies, in particular biopolymers such as proteins and nucleic acids. VMD can simultaneously display any number of structures using a wide variety of rendering styles and coloring methods. Molecules are displayed as one or more "representations," in which each representation embodies a particular rendering method and coloring scheme for a selected subset of atoms. The atoms displayed in each representation are chosen using an extensive atom selection syntax, which includes Boolean operators and regular expressions. VMD provides a complete graphical user interface for program control, as well as a text interface using the Tcl embeddable parser to allow for complex scripts with variable substitution, control loops, and function calls. Full session logging is supported, which produces a VMD command script for later playback. High-resolution raster images of displayed molecules may be produced by generating input scripts for use by a number of photorealistic image-rendering applications. VMD has also been expressly designed with the ability to animate molecular dynamics (MD) simulation trajectories, imported either from files or from a direct connection to a running MD simulation. VMD is the visualization component of MDScope, a set of tools for interactive problem solving in structural biology, which also includes the parallel MD program NAMD, and the MDCOMM software used to connect the visualization and simulation programs. VMD is written in C++, using an object-oriented design; the program, including source code and extensive documentation, is freely available via anonymous ftp and through the World Wide Web.
Article
A method is presented for expressing human thymidylate synthase (TS) to the extent of 25-30% of the protein in Escherichia coli. By this procedure, 200-400 mg of pure enzyme can be obtained from a 2-liter culture of cells. The key to the level of expression appears to be related to the conversion of purine bases in the third, fourth, and fifth codons of the TS cDNA to thymine, without altering the encoded protein product. Conversion of the penultimate proline to a leucine did not diminish expression, but while the isolated native enzyme contained only proline on its amino-terminal end, the mutated enzyme was found to contain methionine on its amino terminus. By contrast, the expression of the unmodified TS cDNA represented only about 0.1-0.2% of the total cellular protein. Unlike recombinant rat and human TSs, the respective enzymes purified to homogeneity from eukaryotic cells were blocked at the amino ends and possessed 2- to 4-fold lower specific activities. To determine at what level the impairment of expression occurred, an in vitro transcription, translation system was employed and the results showed that while transcription was unaffected, the translation of native TS mRNA was reduced by at least 20-fold relative to modified TS mRNA using a rabbit reticulocyte translation system. Thus, it appears that at least for the TS gene, expression is greatly influenced by the GC content of the 5' coding region of the gene in both prokaryote and eukaryote systems.
Article
Protein kinase CK2 is a ubiquitous protein kinase responsible for the phosphorylation of Ser and Thr residues specified by acidic side chains in many proteins, including several key enzymes, growth factor receptors, transcription factors and cytoskeletal proteins. The holoenzyme is composed of two catalytic and two regulatory subunits, the latter having antagonistic roles. CK2 is constitutively active and its targeting seems to be modulated through association with a variety of cellular proteins (e.g. heat shock protein 90 and p53). CK2 is abnormally elevated in proliferating and neoplastic tissues and recent studies suggest that mice overexpressing CK2 develop leukemia. Specific inhibitors of CK2, currently being developed, may have therapeutic potential.
Article
Two crystal structures of rat thymidylate synthase (TS) complexed with dUMP and the anticancer drug Tomudex (ZD1694) have been determined to resolutions of 3.3 and 2.6 A. Tomudex is one of several new antifolates targeted to TS and the first to be approved for clinical use. The structures represent the first views of any mammalian TS bound to ligands and suggest that the rat protein undergoes a ligand-induced conformational change similar to that of the Escherichia coli protein. Surprisingly, Tomudex does not induce the "closed" conformation in rat TS that is seen on binding to E. coli TS, resulting in inhibitor atoms that differ in position by more than 1.5 A. Several species-specific differences in sequence may be the reason for this. Phe 74 shifts to a new position in the rat complex and is in van der Waals contact with the inhibitor, while in the E. coli protein the equivalent amino acid (His 51) hydrogen bonds to the glutamate portion of the inhibitor. Amino acids Arg 101, Asn 106, and Met 305 make no contacts with the inhibitor in the open conformation, unlike the equivalent residues in the E. coli protein (Thr 78, Trp 83, and Val 262). dUMP binding is similar in both proteins, except that there is no covalent adduct to the active site cysteine (Cys 189) in the rat structures. Two insertions in the rat protein are clearly seen, but the N-termini (residues 1-20) and C-termini (residues 301-307) are disordered in both crystal forms.
Article
Topoisomerase II is a major target of the protein kinase casein kinase 2 (PK CK2) in vivo. All major phosphorylation acceptor sites in the yeast enzyme are found in the C-terminal 350aa. The acceptor sites are generally clustered such that there is more than one modified Ser or Thr within a short peptide. Mutagenesis of the predicted acceptor sites have confirmed that five of the eight predicted sites are targeted in vitro and in vivo by PK CK2. Mutation to nonphosphorylatable, neutral residues provokes at most a 10% increase in mitotic doubling time. Truncation of the enzyme leaves the enzyme catalytically active, but slightly lengthens the doubling time during mitotic growth and impedes progress through meiosis. Since this could reflect the loss of interaction with an important ligand, we have examined whether the C-terminal domain of the yeast enzyme mediates interaction with the regulatory beta subunit of PK CK2, which was previously reported to bind topoisomerase II. We find that point mutation of the phospho-acceptor sites does not abrogate the interaction with a small region of PK CK2beta, while truncation at aa1276 or aa1236 does. The site of interaction within PK CK2beta does not coincide with the highly negatively charged spermine binding site.
Article
The growth suppressor protein p53 plays a main part in cellular growth control. Two of its key functions are sequence specific DNA binding and transactivation. Functions of p53 in growth control are regulated at least in part by its interaction with protein kinases. p53 binds to protein kinase CK2, formerly known as casein kinase 2, and it is phosphorylated by this enzyme. CK2 is composed of two regulating beta-subunits and two catalytic alpha- or alpha'-subunits and the interaction with p53 is mediated by the regulatory beta-subunit of CK2. Recently we showed that the beta-subunit could inhibit the sequence specific DNA binding activity of p53 in vitro. Based on this finding, we asked if a coexpression of the beta-subunit of CK2 with p53 in mammalian cells could inhibit the DNA binding activity of p53 in a physiological context. We found that the coexpression of the beta-subunit showed the same inhibitory effect as in the previous assays with purified proteins. Then, we investigated the effects of the coexpression of the beta-subunit of CK2 on the transactivation and transrepression activity of p53. We found that transactivation of the mdm2, p21(WAF1/CIP1) and cyclin G promoter was inhibited in three different cell lines whereas transactivation of the bax promoter was not affected in COS1 cells but down-regulated in MCO1 and SaosS138V21 cells. p53 mediated transrepression of the fos promoter was not influenced by coexpression of the CK2 beta-subunit. Taken together we propose a cell type dependent fine regulation of the p53 transactivation function by the CK2 beta-subunit in vivo, which does not affect p53 mediated transrepression.
Article
A convenient method for the isolation of samples for microsequencing or mass spectrometry utilizing polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis is described in detail, including pre-requisites for a successful outcome. Briefly, after visualization by e.g. Coomassie or silver, internal peptides are generated by in-gel proteolytic digestion, and after extraction, the corresponding protein is analyzed, i.e. the protein is identified by search in sequence data banks using a peptide sequence or a peptide mass map. Alternatively, a novel protein is detected, and an oligonucleotide probe for subsequent molecular biology work is synthesized, based on the obtained peptide sequence. One obvious advantage is that the procedure allows practically any protein to be studied. In-gel digestion has become the fundamental means of preparing samples in the many ongoing proteome projects. A few representative examples are given.
Article
The crystal structures of a deletion mutant of human thymidylate synthase (TS) and its ternary complex with dUMP and Tomudex have been determined at 2.0 A and 2.5 A resolution, respectively. The mutant TS, which lacks 23 residues near the amino terminus, is as active as the wild-type enzyme. The ternary complex is observed in the open conformation, similar to that of the free enzyme and to that of the ternary complex of rat TS with the same ligands. This is in contrast to Escherichia coli TS, where the ternary complex with Tomudex and dUMP is observed in the closed conformation. While the ligands interact with each other in identical fashion regardless of the enzyme conformation, they are displaced by about 1.0 A away from the catalytic cysteine in the open conformation. As a result, the covalent bond between the catalytic cysteine sulfhydryl and the base of dUMP, which is the first step in the reaction mechanism of TS and is observed in all ternary complexes of the E. coli enzyme, is not formed. This displacement results from differences in the interactions between Tomudex and the protein that are caused by differences in the environment of the glutamyl tail of the Tomudex molecule. Despite the absence of the closed conformation, Tomudex inhibits human TS ten-fold more strongly than E. coli TS. These results suggest that formation of a covalent bond between the catalytic cysteine and the substrate dUMP is not required for effective inhibition of human TS by cofactor analogs and could have implications for drug design by eliminating this as a condition for lead compounds.
Article
Studies from our laboratory have shown that the folate-dependent enzyme, thymidylate synthase (TS), functions as an RNA binding protein. There is evidence that TS, in addition to interacting with its own TS mRNA, forms a ribonucleoprotein complex with a number of other cellular mRNAs, including those corresponding to the p53 tumor suppressor gene and the myc family of transcription factors. Using both in vitro and in vivo model systems, we have demonstrated that the functional consequence of binding of TS protein to its own cognate mRNA, as well as binding of TS to the p53 mRNA, is translational repression. Herein, we review current work on the translational autoregulatory control of TS expression and discuss the molecular elements that are required for the TS protein-TS mRNA interaction. TS may play a critical role in regulating the cell cycle and the process of apoptosis through its regulatory effects on expression of p53 and perhaps other cell cycle related proteins. Finally, the ability of TS to function as a translational regulator may have important consequences with regard to the development of cellular resistance to various anticancer drugs.
Article
Tryptic peptides were labeled with sulfonic acid groups at the N-termini using an improved chemistry. The derivatization was performed in common aqueous buffers on peptides adsorbed onto a ZipTip trade mark C(18), thus allowing simultaneous desalting/concentration of the sample. When only Arg-terminating peptides were considered, the procedure from adsorption onto the ZipTip until analysis by MALDI-PSD took about 10 min and several samples could be worked on in parallel. The resulting improved post-source decay (PSD) fragmentation produced spectra containing only y-ions. PSD amino acid sequencing of underivatized and derivatized synthetic peptides was compared. From the sequence information obtained from derivatized peptides isolated by ion selection from tryptic in-gel digests, a protein was correctly identified which was difficult to analyze from an unclear peptide mass fingerprint analysis. The method was also applied to the identification and localization of phosphorylated Ser and Tyr residues in native and synthetic peptides.
Article
Protein kinase CK2 ('casein kinase II') has traditionally been classified as a messenger-independent protein serine/threonine kinase that is typically found in tetrameric complexes consisting of two catalytic (alpha and/or alpha') subunits and two regulatory beta subunits. Accumulated biochemical and genetic evidence indicates that CK2 has a vast array of candidate physiological targets and participates in a complex series of cellular functions, including the maintenance of cell viability. This review summarizes current knowledge of the structural and enzymic features of CK2, and discusses advances that challenge traditional views of this enzyme. For example, the recent demonstrations that individual CK2 subunits exist outside tetrameric complexes and that CK2 displays dual-specificity kinase activity raises new prospects for the precise elucidation of its regulation and cellular functions. This review also discusses a number of the mechanisms that contribute to the regulation of CK2 in cells, and will highlight emerging insights into the role of CK2 in cellular decisions of life and death. In this latter respect, recent evidence suggests that CK2 can exert an anti-apoptotic role by protecting regulatory proteins from caspase-mediated degradation. The mechanistic basis of the observation that CK2 is essential for viability may reside in part in this ability to protect cellular proteins from caspase action. Furthermore, this anti-apoptotic function of CK2 may contribute to its ability to participate in transformation and tumorigenesis.
Article
CK2 (formerly termed "casein kinase 2") is a ubiquitous, highly pleiotropic and constitutively active Ser/Thr protein kinase whose implication in neoplasia, cell survival, and virus infection is supported by an increasing number of arguments. Here an updated inventory of 307 CK2 protein substrates is presented. More than one-third of these are implicated in gene expression and protein synthesis as being either transcriptional factors (60) or effectors of DNA/RNA structure (50) or translational elements. Also numerous are signaling proteins and proteins of viral origin or essential to virus life cycle. In comparison, only a minority of CK2 targets (a dozen or so) are classical metabolic enzymes. An analysis of 308 sites phosphorylated by CK2 highlights the paramount relevance of negatively charged side chains that are (by far) predominant over any other residues at positions n+3 (the most crucial one), n+1, and n+2. Based on this signature, it is predictable that proteins phosphorylated by CK2 are much more numerous than those identified to date, and it is possible that CK2 alone contributes to the generation of the eukaryotic phosphoproteome more so than any other individual protein kinase. The possibility that CK2 phosphosites play some global role, e.g., by destabilizing alpha helices, counteracting caspase cleavage, and generating adhesive motifs, will be discussed.
Article
Thymidylate synthase (TS) is the target in colon cancer therapeutic protocols utilizing such drugs as 5-fluorouracil and raltitrexed. The effectiveness of these treatments is hampered by emerging drug resistance, usually related to increased levels of TS. Human TS (hTS) is unique among thymidylate synthases from all species examined as its loop 181-197 can assume two main conformations related by rotation of 180 degrees. In one conformation, "active", the catalytic Cys-195 is positioned in the active site; in the other conformation, "inactive", it is at the subunit interface. Also, in the active conformation, region 107-128 has one well-defined conformation while in the inactive conformation this region assumes multiple conformations and is disordered in crystals. The native protein exists in apparent equilibrium between the two conformational states, while the enzyme liganded with TS inhibitors assumes the active conformation. The native protein has been reported to bind to several mRNAs, including its own mRNA, but upon ligation, RNA binding activity is lost. Ligation of TS by inhibitors also stabilizes it to turnover. Since currently used TS-directed drugs stabilize the active conformation and slow down the enzyme degradation, it is postulated that inhibitors of hTS stabilizing the inactive conformation of hTS should cause a down-regulation in enzyme levels as well as inactivate the enzyme.
Article
Thymidylate synthase (TS) is an E2F1-regulated enzyme that is essential for DNA synthesis and repair. TS protein and mRNA levels are elevated in many human cancers, and high TS levels have been correlated with poor prognosis in patients with colorectal, breast, cervical, bladder, kidney, and non-small cell lung cancers. In this study, we show that ectopic expression of catalytically active TS is sufficient to induce a transformed phenotype in mammalian cells as manifested by foci formation, anchorage independent growth, and tumor formation in nude mice. In contrast, comparable levels of two TS mutants carrying single point mutations within the catalytic domain had no transforming activity. In addition, we show that overexpression of TS results in apoptotic cell death following serum removal. These data demonstrate that TS exhibits oncogene-like activity and suggest a link between TS-regulated DNA synthesis and the induction of a neoplastic phenotype.
Article
Thymidylate synthase (TS) is an E2F1-regulated enzyme that is essential for DNA synthesis and repair. TS protein and mRNA levels are elevated in many human cancers, and high TS levels have been correlated with poor prognosis in patients with colorectal, breast, cervical, bladder, kidney, and non-small cell lung cancers. In this study, we show that ectopic expression of catalytically active TS is sufficient to induce a transformed phenotype in mammalian cells as manifested by foci formation, anchorage independent growth, and tumor formation in nude mice. In contrast, comparable levels of two TS mutants carrying single point mutations within the catalytic domain had no transforming activity. In addition, we show that overexpression of TS results in apoptotic cell death following serum removal. These data demonstrate that TS exhibits oncogene-like activity and suggest a link between TS-regulated DNA synthesis and the induction of a neoplastic phenotype.
Article
Post-translational modifications (PTMs) occur on almost all proteins analyzed to date. The function of a modified protein is often strongly affected by these modifications and therefore increased knowledge about the potential PTMs of a target protein may increase our understanding of the molecular processes in which it takes part. High-throughput methods for the identification of PTMs are being developed, in particular within the fields of proteomics and mass spectrometry. However, these methods are still in their early stages, and it is indeed advantageous to cut down on the number of experimental steps by integrating computational approaches into the validation procedures. Many advanced methods for the prediction of PTMs exist and many are made publicly available. We describe our experiences with the development of prediction methods for phosphorylation and glycosylation sites and the development of PTM-specific databases. In addition, we discuss novel ideas for PTM visualization (exemplified by kinase landscapes) and improvements for prediction specificity (by using ESS--evolutionary stable sites). As an example, we present a new method for kinase-specific prediction of phosphorylation sites, NetPhosK, which extends our earlier and more general tool, NetPhos. The new server, NetPhosK, is made publicly available at the URL http://www.cbs.dtu.dk/services/NetPhosK/. The issues of underestimation, over-prediction and strategies for improving prediction specificity are also discussed.
Article
Gene expression profiling has been shown to be a valuable tool for prognostication and identification of cancer-associated genes in human malignancies. We aimed to identify potential prognostic marker(s) in non-small cell lung cancers using global gene expression profiles. Twenty-one previously untreated patients with non-small cell lung cancer were analyzed using the Affymetrix GeneChip high-density oligonucleotide array and comparative genomic hybridization. Identified candidate genes were validated in an independent cohort of 45 patients using quantitative real-time reverse transcription-PCR and Western blot analyses. Follow-up data for these patients was collected and used to assess outcome correlations. Hierarchical clustering analysis yielded three distinct subgroups based on gene expression profiling. Cluster I consisted of 4 patients with adenocarcinoma and 1 with squamous cell carcinoma (squamous cell carcinoma); clusters II and III consisted of 6 and 10 patients with squamous cell carcinoma, respectively. Outcome analysis was performed on the cluster groups containing solely squamous cell carcinoma, revealing significant differences in disease-specific survival rates. Moreover, patients having a combination of advanced Tumor-Node-Metastasis stage and assigned to the poor prognosis cluster group (cluster II) had significantly poorer outcomes. Comparative genomic hybridization analysis showed recurrent chromosomal losses at 1p, 3p, 17, 19, and 22 and gains/amplifications at 3q, 5p, and 8q, which did not vary significantly between the cluster groups. We internally and externally validated a subset of 11 cluster II (poor prognosis)-specific genes having corresponding chromosomal aberrations identified by comparative genomic hybridization as prognostic markers in an independent cohort of patients with lung squamous cell carcinoma identifying CSNK2A1 and C1-Inh as independent predictors of outcome. CSNK2A1 and C1-Inh are independent predictors of survival in lung squamous cell carcinoma patients and may be useful as prognostic markers.
Article
Protein kinase CK2 (formerly casein kinase II), an enzyme that participates in a wide variety of cellular processes, has traditionally been classified as a stable tetrameric complex consisting of two catalytic CK2alpha or CK2alpha' subunits and two regulatory CK2beta subunits. While consideration of CK2 as a tetrameric complex remains relevant, significant evidence has emerged to challenge the view that its individual subunits exist exclusively within these complexes. This review will summarize biochemical and genetic evidence indicating that the regulatory CK2beta subunit exists and performs functions independently of CK2 tetramers. For example, unbalanced expression of catalytic and regulatory CK2 subunits has been observed in a variety of tissues and tumors. Furthermore, localization studies including live cell imaging have demonstrated that while the catalytic and regulatory subunits of CK2 exhibit extensive co-localization, independent mobility of the individual CK2 subunits can also be observed within cells. Identification of proteins that interact with CK2beta in the absence of catalytic CK2 subunits reinforces the notion that CK2beta has functions distinct from CK2 and begins to offer insights into these CK2-independent functions. In this respect, the discovery that CK2beta can interact with and modulate the activity of a number of other serine/threonine protein kinases including A-Raf, c-Mos and Chk1 is particularly striking. This review will discuss the interactions between CK2beta and these protein kinases with special emphasis on the properties of CK2beta that mediate these interactions and on the implications of these interactions in yielding new prospects for elucidation of the cellular functions of CK2beta.
Article
A novel method termed metal oxide affinity chromatography (MOAC) of enriching for phosphorylated proteins and peptides based on the affinity of the phosphate group for Al(OH)(3) is presented here. When compared to commercial phosphoprotein-enrichment kits, this method is more selective, more cost effective and easily applicable to method optimization. The use of glutamic and aspartic acid in the loading buffer significantly enhances selectivity. Standard protein mixtures and complex Arabidopsis thaliana leaf protein extracts were tested for efficacy of enrichment. The method can be applied to proteins extracted using either mild or denaturing conditions. The same Al(OH)(3) material is suitable for the enrichment of phosphopeptides out of a tryptic digest of alpha-casein. Peptide phosphorylation was revealed by beta-elimination of phosphate groups. Enrichment and in vivo phosphorylation of A. thaliana leaf proteins were confirmed with Pro-Q diamond stain. Several of the phosphoprotein candidates that were identified by MS are known to be phosphorylated in vivo in other plant species.
Article
Recombinant murine BID protein was used as an in vitro substrate for the CK2 holoenzyme and the catalytic CK2alpha subunit. The results obtained show that BID can only serve as a substrate for the catalytic CK2alpha subunit. Phosphorylation of BID using the CK2 holoenzyme was only possible in the presence of polylysine, supporting the notion that BID behaves similarly to calmodulin. Co-immunoprecipitation of BID and CK2 subunits revealed that BID is preferentially associated with the CK2alpha subunit. Enzyme kinetic analyses yielded a Km value for BID that is a level of magnitude lower than that measured for casein and the synthetic peptide, suggesting more specific and tight binding of BID to CK2alpha. In contrast are the Vmax values observed, with a significantly higher phosphorylation rate measured for casein and the synthetic peptide than for BID. When BID was phosphorylated by polylysine-stimulated CK2 holoenzyme prior to caspase-8 cleavage, the formation of tC-BID was reduced in comparison to treatment with caspase-8 in the absence of protein kinase. Mass spectrometric analysis of BID phosphorylated by CK2alpha before and after cleavage with caspase-8 showed phosphorylation of residues Thr58 and Ser76.
Article
The acronym CK2 denotes a highly pleiotropic Ser/Thr protein kinase whose over-expression correlates with neoplastic growth. A vexed question about the enigmatic regulation of CK2 concerns the actual existence in living cells of the catalytic (alpha and/or alpha') and regulatory beta-subunits of CK2 not assembled into the regular heterotetrameric holoenzyme. Here we take advantage of novel reagents, namely a peptide substrate and an inhibitor which discriminate between the holoenzyme and the catalytic subunits, to show that CK2 activity in CHO cells is entirely accounted for by the holoenzyme. Transfection with individual subunits moreover does not give rise to holoenzyme formation unless the catalytic and regulatory subunits are co-transfected together, arguing against the existence of free subunits in CHO cells.
Article
Many genomic abnormalities have been identified in various subsets of prostate cancer, but until now, few genes have been associated with the progression of this cancer. High activity of protein serine/threonine kinase CK2 has been observed in various solid tumours and this alteration has been linked both to growth-related functions and to suppression of cellular apoptosis. Here, we provide the first evidence for a strong association between a nuclear localization of CK2alpha, evaluated by immunohistochemistry, and poor prognostic factors in a retrospective cohort of 131 human prostate adenocarcinomas. Nuclear CK2alpha localization is significantly correlated with higher Gleason score, more locally advanced disease (cT3-T4) and more perineural or lymphatic invasion (p<0.0019 to 0.046). In contrast, despite a strong trend, no significant relationship was found between higher initial PSA and nuclear CK2alpha localization. Thus, this previously undescribed molecular heterogeneity is the first step in defining CK2 as both a potential biomarker and a promising target in human prostate cancer.