Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications, Vol.319, No.1, 130-137, 2004
Phosphorylation of the mitochondrial protein Sab by stress-activated protein kinase 3
Mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPKs) transduce extracellular signals into responses such as growth, differentiation, and death through their phosphorylation of specific substrate proteins. Early studies showed the consensus sequence (Pro/X)-X-(Ser/Thr)-Pro to be phosphorylated by MAPKs. Docking domains such as the "kinase interaction motif" (KIM) also appear to be crucial for efficient substrate phosphorylation. Here, we show that stress-activated protein kinase-3 (SAPK3), a p38 MAPK Subfamily member, localizes to the mitochondria. Activated SAPK3 phosphorylates the mitochondrial protein Sab, an in vitro substrate of c-Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK). Sab phosphorylation by SAPK3 was dependent on the most N-terminal KIM (KIM 1) of Sab and occurred primarily on Ser321. This appeared to be dependent on the position of Ser321 within Sab and the sequence immediately surrounding it. Our results suggest that SAPK3 and JNK may share a common target at the mitochondria and provide new insights into the substrate recognition by SAPK3. (C) 2004 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.