Effect of PU.1 phosphorylation on interaction with NF-EM5 and transcriptional activation

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Science  12 Mar 1993:
Vol. 259, Issue 5101, pp. 1622-1625
DOI: 10.1126/science.8456286


PU.1 recruits the binding of a second B cell-restricted nuclear factor, NF-EM5, to a DNA site in the immunoglobulin kappa 3' enhancer. DNA binding by NF-EM5 requires a protein-protein interaction with PU.1 and specific DNA contacts. Dephosphorylated PU.1 bound to DNA but did not interact with NF-EM5. Analysis of serine-to-alanine mutations in PU.1 indicated that serine 148 (Ser148) is required for protein-protein interaction. PU.1 produced in bacteria did not interact with NF-EM5. Phosphorylation of bacterially produced PU.1 by purified casein kinase II modified it to a form that interacted with NF-EM5 and that recruited NF-EM5 to bind to DNA. Phosphopeptide analysis of bacterially produced PU.1 suggested that Ser148 is phosphorylated by casein kinase II. This site is also phosphorylated in vivo. Expression of wild-type PU.1 increased expression of a reporter construct containing the PU.1 and NF-EM5 binding sites nearly sixfold, whereas the Ser148 mutant form only weakly activated transcription. These results demonstrate that phosphorylation of PU.1 at Ser148 is necessary for interaction with NF-EM5 and suggest that this phosphorylation can regulate transcriptional activity.

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