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

Cyclic AMP-dependent phosphorylation of the alpha subunit of the sodium channel in synaptic nerve ending particles.

In purified preparations of voltage-sensitive sodium channels, the alpha subunit is selectively phosphorylated by cAMP-dependent protein kinase (Costa, M. R. C., Casnellie, J. E., and Catterall, W. A. (1982) J. Biol. Chem., 7918-7921). We have developed methods to measure sodium channel phosphorylation in both lysed synaptosomal membranes and intact synaptosomes. Incubation of lysed synaptosomal membranes with exogenously added catalytic subunit of cAMP-dependent kinase and [gamma-32P]ATP resulted in rapid phosphorylation of the alpha subunit as detected by specific immuno-precipitation, sodium dodecyl sulfate-gel electrophoresis, and autoradiography. Analysis of tryptic phosphopeptides revealed five major sites of reaction. The level of phosphorylation of these sites on the sodium channel in intact synaptosomes was monitored using a rephosphorylation method in which those sites not phosphorylated in situ were labeled with [gamma-32P]ATP and exogenously added protein kinase after lysis of the synaptosomes. Incubation of synaptosomes with 8-Br-cAMP completely blocked labeling of the alpha subunit in rephosphorylation indicating marked stimulation of phosphorylation of the sites on the sodium channel in situ. Phosphorylation was complete in 15 s and all four of the tryptic phosphopeptides detected under these conditions could be phosphorylated in situ. These results show that the sodium channel can be rapidly phosphorylated by endogenous cAMP-dependent protein kinase in intact synaptosomes. In addition, since ATP and protein kinase are only available inside the synaptosomes, they also show that the alpha subunit is a transmembrane polypeptide exposed on both sides of the synaptosomal membrane. The functional consequences of 8-Br-cAMP-stimulated phosphorylation were examined using ion flux and neurotoxin-binding methods. Binding of saxitoxin and scorpion toxin were unaffected, but neurotoxin-activated 22Na+ influx mediated by the sodium channel was reduced 16 to 26% (P less than 0.01) under various experimental conditions. The potential physiological significance of this action is considered.[1]


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