Phosphorylation by protein kinase C of the 20,000-dalton light chain of myosin in intact and chemically skinned vascular smooth muscle

T. A. Sutton, J. R. Haeberle

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In the present study we tested the hypothesis that phosphorylation of the 20,000-dalton light chain subunit of smooth muscle myosin (LC20) by the calcium-activated and phospholipid-dependent protein kinase C regulates contraction of chemically-permeabilized (glycerinated) porcine carotid artery smooth muscle. Purified protein kinase C and oleic acid were used to phosphorylate LC20 in glycerinated muscles in the presence of a CaEGTA/EGTA buffer system (pCa 8) to prevent activation of myosin light chain kinase. Phosphorylation of the light chain to 1.3 mol of PO4/mol of LC20 did not stimulate contraction. Tryptic digests of glycerinated carotid artery LC20 contained two major phosphopeptides which contained phosphoserine but not phosphothreonine. Incubation of glycerinated muscles with calcium (20 μM) and calmodulin (10 μM) resulted in contraction and LC20 phosphorylation to 1.1 mol of PO4/mol of LC20; tryptic digests of LC20 from these muscles contained a single phosphopeptide which could be distinguished by phosphopeptide mapping from the two phosphopeptides derived from muscles phosphorylated with protein kinase C. Further phosphorylation of Ca2+/calmodulin-activated muscles to 2.0 mol of PO4/mol of LC20, by incubation with protein kinase C, had no effect on either the level of isometric force or the lightly-loaded shortening velocity (after-load = 0.1 peak active force); removal of Ca2+ and calmodulin, but not protein kinase C and oleic acid, resulted in normal relaxation in spite of maintained phosphorylation to 1.2 mol of PO4/mol of LC20. Comparison of LC20 phosphopeptide maps from glycerinated muscles incubated with protein kinase C plus Ca2+/calmodulin (2.0 mol of PO4/mol of LC20) to maps from intact muscles stimulated with 10-6 M phorbol 12,13-dibutyrate (0.05 mol of PO4/mol of LC20) showed that the same three phosphopeptides were present in both the intact and glycerinated muscles. These findings show that phosphorylation of LC20 by protein kinase C in glycerinated muscles to levels at least 40 times higher than those present during contraction of intact, phorbol ester-stimulated muscles does not acti-vate contraction nor does it significantly modify the contraction of smooth muscle which occurs in response to the Ca2+/calmodulin-dependent phosphorylation of Ser19 by myosin light chain kinase.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2749-2754
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1990

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology

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