Identification of four phosphorylation sites in the N-terminal region of tyrosine hydroxylase

D. G. Campbell, D. G. Hardie, Philip R Vulliet

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207 Scopus citations


As reported previously [Vulliet et al. (1985) FEBS Lett. 182 335-339], tyrosine hydroxylase purified from rat pheochromocytoma is phosphorylated at an identical site (site A) by cycic AMP-dependent protein kinase, the calmodulin-dependent multiprotein kinase and protein kinase C, while the calmodulin-dependent multiprotein kinase also phosphorylates another unique site (site C). Preparations of tyrosine hydroxylase purified from this source are also contaminated with traces of a fourth protein kinase which phosphorylates another unique site (site E). We have isolated tryptic peptides containing each of these sites and determined their amino acid sequences. By comparison of these data with the known cDNA sequence for rat tyrosine hydroxylase, we have been able to identify these sites as Ser-8 (site E), Ser-19 (site C), and Ser-40 (site A). In some preparations of tyrosine hydroxylase, cyclic AMP-dependent protein kinase also phosphorylated a secondary site which was identified as ser-153. All of these phosphorylation sites are in the amino-terminal region, where there is no significant homology with the closely related enzyme, phenylalanine hydroxylase. Our data also establish that the initiator methionine is removed by post-translational processing to leave pro-2 as the amino-terminus of the mature protein. The significance of these results for the mechanism of action of extracellular signals on catecholamine biosynthesis is discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)10489-10492
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number23
StatePublished - 1986
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry


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