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Knightet al.Skeletal Muscle2012,2:5 http://www.skeletalmusclejournal.com/content/2/1/5
Skeletal Muscle
R E S E A R C HOpen Access A novel wholecell lysate kinase assay identifies substrates of the p38 MAPK in differentiating myoblasts 1,2,9 3,4,91,2,10 3,51 5 James DR Knight, Ruijun Tian, Robin EC Lee, Fangjun Wang, Ariane Beauvais , Hanfa Zou , 1,2,6 7,87,8 3,41,2,6* Lynn A Megeney, AnneClaude Gingras, Tony Pawson, Daniel Figeysand Rashmi Kothary
Abstract Background:The p38amitogenactivated protein kinase (MAPK) is a critical mediator of myoblast differentiation, and does so in part through the phosphorylation and regulation of several transcription factors and chromatin remodelling proteins. However, whether p38ais involved in processes other than gene regulation during myogenesis is currently unknown, and why other p38 isoforms cannot compensate for its loss is unclear. Methods:To further characterise the involvement of p38aduring myoblast differentiation, we developed and applied a simple technique for identifying relevantin vivokinase substrates and their phosphorylation sites. In addition to identifying substrates for one kinase, the technique can be usedin vitroto compare multiple kinases in the same experiment, and we made use of this to study the substrate specificities of the p38aandbisoforms. Results:Applying the technique to p38aresulted in the identification of sevenin vivophosphorylation sites on six proteins, four of which are cytoplasmic, in lysate derived from differentiating myoblasts. Anin vitrocomparison with p38brevealed that substrate specificity does not discriminate these two isoforms, but rather that their distinguishing characteristic appears to be cellular localisation. Conclusion:Our results suggest p38ahas a novel cytoplasmic role during myogenesis and that its unique cellular localisation may be why p38band other isoforms cannot compensate for its absence. The substratefinding approach presented here also provides a necessary tool for studying the hundreds of protein kinases that exist and for uncovering the deeper mechanisms of phosphorylationdependent cell signalling. Keywords:differentiation, FSBA, kinase assay, mitogenactivated protein kinase, myoblast, p38, phosphorylation, quantitative MS
Background Protein kinases are wellknown regulators of cell signal ling and cellular behaviour that execute their function through the covalent attachment of an ATPderived phosphate to protein substrates. To understand the function of any protein kinase on a large and cellwide scale first requires the development of a substrate screening technique that allows for the proteins phos phorylated by a kinase of interest to be comprehensively identified, ideally in a single experiment. Although
* Correspondence: rkothary@ohri.ca 1 Regenerative Medicine Program, Ottawa Hospital Research Institute, 501 Smyth Road, Ottawa, ON, K1H 8L6, Canada Full list of author information is available at the end of the article
substratefinding techniques exist, they are hindered by problems that prevent them from being easily or readily employed [14] and are generally limited to providingin vitrosubstrate identifications that may or may not be relevantin vivo.In vivoapproaches currently available, such as that employed by Holtet al.[5], can associate a kinase within vivophosphorylation events, but direct phosphorylation cannot be inferred without additional experimentation. A simple technique that can identify directin vivosubstrates is an obvious need for the field. The mitogenactivated protein kinase p38ais involved in several cellular processes, but its critical role during differentiation, and particularly the differentiation of myoblasts, has been a major focus. At the initiation of
© 2012 Knight et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
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