Department of Computer Science
Extracellular signal-regulated kinases 1 and 2 (ERK1/2) are dysregulated in many pervasive diseases. Recently, we discovered that ERK1/2 is oxidized by signal-generated hydrogen peroxide in various cell types. Since the putative sites of oxidation lie within or near ERK1/2’s ligand-binding surfaces, we investigated how oxidation of ERK2 regulates interactions with the model substrates Sub-D and Sub-F. These studies revealed that ERK2 undergoes sulfenylation at C159 on its D-recruitment site surface and that this modification modulates ERK2 activity differentially between substrates. Integrated biochemical, computational, and mutational analyses suggest a plausible mechanism for peroxide-dependent changes in ERK2-substrate interactions. Interestingly, oxidation decreased ERK2’s affinity for some D-site ligands while increasing its affinity for others. Finally, oxidation by signal-generated peroxide enhanced ERK1/2’s ability to phosphorylate ribosomal S6 kinase A1 (RSK1) in HeLa cells. Together, these studies lay the foundation for examining crosstalk between redox- and phosphorylation-dependent signaling at the level of kinase-substrate selection.
Hydrogen peroxide-dependent oxidation of ERK2 within its D-recruitment site alters its substrate selection.
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