Cytokinesis Regulator ECT2 Changes its Conformation Through Phosphorylation at Thr-341 in G2/M Phase
The Rho activator ECT2 functions as a key regulator in cytokinesis. ECT2 is phosphorylated during G2/M phase, but the physiological significance of this event is not well known. In this study, we show that phosphorylation of ECT2 at threonine-341 (T341) affects the autoregulatory mechanism of ECT2. In G2/M phase, ECT2 was phosphorylated at T341 most likely by Cyclin B/Cyclin-dependent kinase 1 (Cdk1), and then dephosphorylated before cytokinesis. Depletion of ECT2 by RNA interference (RNAi) efficiently induced multinucleate cells. Expression of the phospho-deficient mutant of ECT2 at T341 suppressed the multinucleation induced by RNAi to ECT2, indicating that ECT2 is biologically active even when it is not phosphorylated at T341. However, the phospho-mimic mutation at T341 weakly stimulates the catalytic activity of ECT2 as detected by serum response element reporter gene assays. As T341 is located at the hinge region of the N-terminal regulatory domain and C-terminal catalytic domain, phosphorylation of T341 may help accessing downstream signaling molecules to further activate ECT2. We found that the phospho-mimic mutation T341D increases binding with itself or the N-terminal half of ECT2. These results suggest a conformational change of ECT2 upon phosphorylation at T341. Therefore, ECT2 activity might be regulated by the phosphorylation status of T341. We propose that T341 phosphorylation by Cyclin B/Cdk1 could be a trigger for further activation of ECT2.
Amino acid sequence, cell division, cells, cultured, cytokinesis, mitosis, phosphorylation, protein conformation, roto-oncogene proteins, RNA, threonine
Hara, T.; Abe, M.; Inoue, H.; Yu, L.R.; Veenstra, Timothy D.; Kang, Y. H.; Lee, K. S.; and Miki, T., "Cytokinesis Regulator ECT2 Changes its Conformation Through Phosphorylation at Thr-341 in G2/M Phase" (2006). Pharmaceutical Sciences Faculty Publications. 407.