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

Identification of protein kinase C isozymes responsible for the phosphorylation of photoreceptor-specific RGS9-1 at Ser475.

Inactivation of the visual G-protein transducin by GTP hydrolysis is regulated by the GTPase-accelerating protein (GAP) RGS9-1. Regulation of RGS9-1 itself is poorly understood, but we found previously that it is subject to a light- and Ca(2+)-sensitive phosphorylation on Ser(475). Because there are much higher RGS9-1 levels in cones than in rods, we investigated whether Ser(475) is phosphorylated in rods using Coneless mice and found that both the phosphorylation and its regulation by light occur in rods. Therefore, we used rod outer segments as the starting material for the purification of RGS9-1 kinase activity. Two major peaks of activity corresponded to protein kinase C (PKC) isozymes, PKCalpha and PKCtheta. A synthetic peptide corresponding to the Ser(475) RGS9-1 sequence and RGS9-1 were substrates for recombinant PKCalpha and PKCtheta. This phosphorylation was removed efficiently by protein phosphatase 2A, an endogenous phosphatase in rod outer segments, but not by PP1 or PP2B. Phosphorylation of RGS9-1 by PKC had little effect on its activity in solution but significantly decreased its affinity for its membrane anchor protein and GAP enhancer, RGS9-1 anchor protein (R9AP). PKCtheta immunostaining was at higher levels in cone outer segments than in rod outer segments, as was found for the components of the RGS9-1 GAP complex. Thus, PKC-mediated phosphorylation of RGS9-1 represents a potential mechanism for feedback control of the kinetics of photoresponse recovery in both rods and cones, with this mechanism probably especially important in cones.[1]


  1. Identification of protein kinase C isozymes responsible for the phosphorylation of photoreceptor-specific RGS9-1 at Ser475. Sokal, I., Hu, G., Liang, Y., Mao, M., Wensel, T.G., Palczewski, K. J. Biol. Chem. (2003) [Pubmed]
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