Phosphorylation of the nicotinic acetylcholine receptor by an endogenous tyrosine-specific protein kinase

R. L. Huganir, K. Miles, P. Greengard

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Postsynaptic membranes from the electric organ of Torpedo californica, rich in the nicotinic acetylcholine receptor, were shown to contain an endogenous tyrosine protein kinase. This endogenous kinase phosphorylated three major proteins with molecular masses corresponding to 50 kDa, 60 kDa, and 65 kDa. The phosphorylation of these three proteins occurred exclusively on tyrosine residues under the experimental conditions used and was abolished by 0.1% Nonidet P-40 and stimulated by Mn2+. The 50-kDa, 60-kDa, and 65-kDa phosphoproteins were demonstrated to be the β, γ, and δ subunits, respectively, of the nicotinic acetylcholine receptor by purification of the phosphorylated receptor using affinity chromatography. The endogenous tyrosine kinase specifically phosphorylated the β, γ, and δ subunits rapidly to a final stoichiometry of ≃0.5 mol of phosphate per mol of subunit. Two-dimensional phosphopeptide mapping of the phosphorylated β, γ, and δ subunits, after limit proteolysis with trypsin or thermolysin, indicated that each subunit was phosphorylated on a single site. Locations are proposed for the amino acid residues phosphorylated on the receptor by the tyrosine-specific protein kinase and by two other protein kinases (cAMP-dependent protein kinase and protein kinase C) which phosphorylate the receptor.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)6968-6972
Number of pages5
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number22 I
StatePublished - 1984
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General

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