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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

The intermediate filament protein keratin 8 is a novel cytoplasmic substrate for c-Jun N-terminal kinase.

Keratins 8 (K8) and 18 are the primary intermediate filaments of simple epithelia. Phosphorylation of keratins at specific sites affects their organization, assembly dynamics, and their interaction with signaling molecules. A number of keratin in vitro and in vivo phosphorylation sites have been identified. One example is K8 Ser-73, which has been implicated as an important phosphorylation site during mitosis, cell stress, and apoptosis. We show that K8 is strongly phosphorylated on Ser-73 upon stimulation of the pro-apoptotic cytokine receptor Fas/CD95/Apo-1 in HT-29 cells. Kinase assays showed that c-Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK) was also activated with activation kinetics corresponding to that of K8 phosphorylation. Furthermore, K8 was also phosphorylated on Ser-73 by JNK in vitro, yielding similar phosphopeptide maps as the in vivo phosphorylated material. In addition, co-immunoprecipitation studies revealed that part of JNK is associated with K8 in vivo, correlating with decreased ability of JNK to phosphorylate the endogenous c-Jun. Taken together, K8 is a new cytoplasmic target for JNK in Fas receptor-mediated signaling. The functional significance of this phosphorylation could relate to regulation of JNK signaling and/or regulation of keratin dynamics.[1]


  1. The intermediate filament protein keratin 8 is a novel cytoplasmic substrate for c-Jun N-terminal kinase. He, T., Stepulak, A., Holmström, T.H., Omary, M.B., Eriksson, J.E. J. Biol. Chem. (2002) [Pubmed]
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