Chemoattractant-elicited increases in Dictyostelium myosin phosphorylation are due to changes in myosin localization and increases in kinase activity.

C. H. Berlot, P. N. Devreotes, J. A. Spudich

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We previously reported (Berlot, C. H., Spudich, J. A., and Devreotes, P. N. (1985) Cell 43, 307-314) that cAMP stimulation of chemotactically competent Dictyostelium amoebae causes transient increases in phosphorylation of the myosin heavy chain and 18,000-dalton light chain in vivo and in vitro. In this report we investigate the mechanisms involved in these changes in phosphorylation. In the case of heavy chain phosphorylation, the amount of substrate available for phosphorylation appears to be the major factor regulating the in vitro phosphorylation rate. Almost all heavy chain kinase activity is insoluble in Triton X-100, and the increase in the heavy chain phosphorylation rate in vitro parallels an increase in Triton insolubility of myosin. Changes in heavy chain phosphatase activity are not involved in the changes in the in vitro phosphorylation rate. In the case of light chain phosphorylation, increases in the vitro phosphorylation rate occur under conditions where the amount of substrate available for phosphorylation is constant and phosphatase activity is undetectable, implicating light chain kinase activation as the means of regulation. The specificity of the myosin kinases operating in vivo and in vitro was explored using phosphoamino acid and chymotryptic phosphopeptide analysis. The light chain is phosphorylated on serine both in vivo and in vitro, and phosphopeptide maps of the light chain phosphorylated in vivo and in vitro are indistinguishable. In the case of the heavy chain, both serine and threonine are phosphorylated in vivo and in vitro, although the cAMP-stimulated increases in phosphorylation occur primarily on threonine. Phosphopeptide maps of the heavy chain show that the peptides phosphorylated in vitro represent a major subset of those phosphorylated in vivo. The kinetics of the transient increases in myosin phosphorylation rates observed in vitro can be predicted quantitatively from the in vivo myosin phosphorylation data assuming that there is a constant phosphatase activity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3918-3926
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number8
StatePublished - Mar 15 1987
Externally publishedYes


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology

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