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Intrinsic protein kinase activity in mitochondrial oxidative phosphorylation complexes

Reputable Mentor II
Reputable Mentor II
Phillips D, Aponte AM, Covian R, Balaban RS.
Biochemistry. 2011 Apr 5;50(13):2515-29
Mitochondrial protein phosphorylation is a well-recognized metabolic control mechanism, with the classical example of pyruvate dehydrogenase (PDH) regulation by specific kinases and phosphatases of bacterial origin. However, despite the growing number of reported mitochondrial phosphoproteins, the identity of the protein kinases mediating these phosphorylation events remains largely unknown. The detection of mitochondrial protein kinases is complicated by the low concentration of kinase relative to that of the target protein, the lack of specific antibodies, and contamination from associated, but nonmatrix, proteins. In this study, we use blue native gel electrophoresis (BN-PAGE) to isolate rat and porcine heart mitochondrial complexes for screening of protein kinase activity. To detect kinase activity, one-dimensional BN-PAGE gels were exposed to [γ-(32)P]ATP and then followed by sodium dodecyl sulfate gel electrophoresis. Dozens of mitochondrial proteins were labeled with (32)P in this setting, including all five complexes of oxidative phosphorylation and several citric acid cycle enzymes. The nearly ubiquitous (32)P protein labeling demonstrates protein kinase activity within each mitochondrial protein complex. The validity of this two-dimensional BN-PAGE method was demonstrated by detecting the known PDH kinases and phosphatases within the PDH complex band using Western blots and mass spectrometry. Surprisingly, these same approaches detected only a few additional conventional protein kinases, suggesting a major role for autophosphorylation in mitochondrial proteins. Studies on purified Complex V and creatine kinase confirmed that these proteins undergo autophosphorylation and, to a lesser degree, tenacious (32)P-metabolite association. In-gel Complex IV activity was shown to be inhibited by ATP, and partially reversed by phosphatase activity, consistent with an inhibitory role for protein phosphorylation in this complex. Collectively, this study proposes that many of the mitochondrial complexes contain an autophosphorylation mechanism, which may play a functional role in the regulation of these multiprotein units.
Laboratory of Cardiac Energetics, National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, National Institutes of Health, Department of Health and Human Services, Bethesda, Maryland 20892, United States.
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