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Phosphorylation of a Heme-Regulated Eukaryotic Initiation Factor 2αkinase Enhances the Interaction with Heat-Shock Protein 90 and Substantially Upregulates kinase Activity

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Heme-regulated eukaryotic initiation factor 2α kinase (HRI) functions under conditions of heme shortage caused by blood diseases such as erythropoietic protoporphyria and β-thalassemia, and retains the heme:globin ratio at 1:1 by sensing the heme concentration in reticulocytes. This HRI function is regulated by various factors including autophosphorylation and protein-protein interactions. A heat-shock protein controls HRI function, however, the molecular mechanism of catalytic regulation of HRI by the heat-shock protein is unclear. In the present study, we examined the interactions of HRI with a heat-shock protein, Hsp90, under various conditions, using a pull-down assay and measuring catalytic activity. It was found that [1] an interaction between Hsp90 and phosphorylated HRI was evident, whereas no interaction was observed between Hsp90 and HRI dephosphorylated by treatment with δ protein phosphatase; [2] Hsp90 enhanced the kinase activity of phosphorylated HRI but not dephosphorylated HRI, but this enhancement was not observed in the presence of heme; and, [3] autophosphorylation of HRI was not influenced by Hsp90. Therefore, we propose that autophosphorylation of HRI is critical for catalytic regulation by Hsp90 under heme-shortage conditions.

Keywords: ATP; Coomassie Brilliant Blue; GCN2; HRI; Heme; Hsp90; PERK; PKR; RNA; SDS-PAGE; eIF2a; eIF2α kinase; heat shock protein 90; phosphorylation; thalassemia

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: 2011-12-01

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  • Protein & Peptide Letters publishes short papers in all important aspects of protein and peptide research, including structural studies, recombinant expression, function, synthesis, enzymology, immunology, molecular modeling, drug design etc. Manuscripts must have a significant element of novelty, timeliness and urgency that merit rapid publication. Reports of crystallisation, and preliminary structure determinations of biologically important proteins are acceptable. Purely theoretical papers are also acceptable provided they provide new insight into the principles of protein/peptide structure and function.
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