Analysis of the in vivo phosphorylation state of protein phosphatase inhibitor-2 from rabbit skeletal muscle by fast-atom bombardment mass spectrometry

Charles F B Holmes, Nicholas K. Tonks, Hilary Major, Philip Cohen

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    42 Citations (Scopus)


    A new procedure has been developed for identifying phosphoserine residues in proteins, and is used to analyse the in vivo phosphorylation state of inhibitor-2. The method employs reverse-phase liquid chromatography to resolve phosphorylated and dephosphorylated forms of peptides and fast-atom bombardment mass spectrometry (FABMS) to identify phosphorylated derivatives. The positions of phosphorylation sites within peptides are located by gas-phase sequencer analysis after conversion of phosphoserine residues to S-ethylcysteine. The phosphorylation sites on inhibitor-2 were identified as serines-86, -120 and -121, the three residues phosphorylated in vitro by casein kinase-II. Serine-86 was phosphorylated to 0.7 mol/mol and serines-120 and -121 each to 0.3 mol/mol. These values were not altered significantly by intravenous injection of adrenalin or insulin. No phosphate was present in the region comprising residues 1-49, even after injection of adrenalin, demonstrating that inhibitor-2 is not a substrate for cyclic AMP-dependent protein kinase in vivo. The absence of phosphotyrosine also indicated that inhibitor-2 is not a physiological substrate for the insulin receptor. Surprisingly, no phosphate was present at threonine-72, the residue phosphorylated in vitro by glycogen synthase kinase-3, after injection of either propranolol, adrenalin or insulin. The implications of this finding for the in vivo activation of protein phosphatase 1I (the 1:1 complex between inhibitor-2 and the catalytic subunit of protein phosphatase-1) are discussed. FABMS analysis of inhibitor-2 confirmed the accuracy of the primary structure reported previously, and showed that the only post-translational modifications were an N-acetyl moiety and the three phosphoserine residues. FABMS also demonstrated the presence of an additional serine residue at the C-terminus, and showed that 50% of isolated inhibitor-2 molecules lack the C-terminal Ser-Ser dipeptide.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)208-219
    Number of pages12
    JournalBBA - Molecular Cell Research
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - 6 Jul 1987


    • (Rabbit skeletal muscle)
    • FABMS
    • Inhibitor-2
    • Mass spectrometry
    • Phosphorylation
    • Phosphoserine residues
    • Protein phosphatase

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Biophysics
    • Cell Biology
    • Molecular Biology
    • General Medicine


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