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

A purified S6 kinase kinase from Xenopus eggs activates S6 kinase II and autophosphorylates on serine, threonine, and tyrosine residues.

S6 kinases I and II have been purified previously from Xenopus eggs and shown to be activated by phosphorylation on serine and threonine residues. An S6 kinase clone, closely related to S6 kinase II, was subsequently identified and the protein product was expressed in a baculovirus system. Using this protein, termed "rsk" for Ribosomal Protein S6 Kinase, as a substrate, we have purified to homogeneity from unfertilized Xenopus eggs a 41-kDa serine/threonine kinase termed rsk kinase. Both microtubule-associated protein-2 and myelin basic protein are good substrates for rsk kinase, whereas alpha-casein, histone H1, protamine, and phosvitin are not. rsk kinase is inhibited by low concentrations of heparin as well as by beta-glycerophosphate and calcium. Activation of rsk kinase during Xenopus oocyte maturation is correlated with phosphorylation on threonine and tyrosine residues. However, in vitro, rsk kinase undergoes autophosphorylation on serine, threonine, and tyrosine residues, identifying it as a "dual specificity" enzyme. Purified rsk kinase can be inactivated in vitro by either a 37-kDa T-cell protein-tyrosine phosphatase or the serine/threonine protein phosphatase 2A. Phosphatase-treated S6KII can be reactivated by rsk kinase, and S6 kinase activity in resting oocyte extracts increases significantly when purified rsk kinase is added. The availability of purified rsk kinase will enhance study of the signal transduction pathway(s) regulating phosphorylation of ribosomal protein S6 in Xenopus oocytes.[1]


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