Identification of the major protein phosphatases in mammalian cardiac muscle which dephosphorylate phospholamban

Lindsay K. MacDougall, Larry R. Jones, Philip COHEN

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    The protein phosphatases which dephosphorylate native, sarcoplasmic reticulum (SR)‐associated phospholamban were studied in cardiac muscle extracts and in a Triton fraction prepared by detergent extraction of myofibrils, the latter fraction containing 70–80% of the SR‐associated proteins present in the tissue. At physiological concentrations of free Mg2+ (1 mM), protein phosphatase 1 (PP1) accounted for approximately 70% of the total phospholamban phosphatase activity in these fractions towards either Ser‐16 (the residue labelled by cAMP‐dependent protein kinase, PK‐A) or Thr‐17 (the residue phosphorylated by an SR‐associated Ca2+/calmodulindependent protein kinase). Protein phosphatase 2A (PP2A) and protein phosphatase 2C (PP2C) accounted for the remainder of the activity. A major form of cardiac PP1, present in comparable amounts in both the extract and Triton fraction, was similar, if not identical, to skeletal muscle protein phosphatase 1G (PP1G), which is composed of the PP1 catalytic (C) subunit complexed to a G subunit of approximately 160kDa, responsible for targetting PP1 to both the SR and glycogen particles of skeletal muscle. This conclusion was based on immunoblotting experiments using antibody to the G subunit, ability to bind to glycogen and the release of PP1 activity from glycogen upon incubation with PK‐A and MgATP. PP1 accounted for approximately 90% of the phospholamban (Ser‐16 or Thr‐17) phosphatase activity in the material sedimented by centrifugation at 45000xg, a fraction prepared from cardiac extracts which is enriched in SR membranes. The G subunit in this fraction could be solubilised by Triton X‐100, but not with 0.5 M NaCl or digestion with α‐amylase, indicating that it is bound to membranes and not to glycogen. By analogy with the situation in skeletal muscle, the PK‐A catalysed phosphorylation of the G subunit, with ensuing release of the C subunit from the SR, may prevent PP1 from dephosphorylating SR‐bound substrates and represent one of the mechanisms by which adrenalin increases the phosphorylation of cardiac phospholamban (Ser‐16 and Thr‐17) in vivo. Hearts left in situ post mortem lose 85–95% of their PP1 activity within 20–30 min. This remarkable disappearance of PP1 may partly explain why the importance of this enzyme in cardiac muscle metabolism has not been recognised previously.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)725-734
    Number of pages10
    JournalEuropean Journal of Biochemistry
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - Mar 1991

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Biochemistry


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