Characterization of the mechanisms controlling Greatwall activity.
Here we investigate the mechanisms regulating Greatwall (Gwl), a serine/threonine kinase essential for promoting the correct timing of mitosis. We identify Gwl as a unique AGC kinase that, unlike most AGC members, appears to be devoid of a hydrophobic motif despite the presence of a functional hydrophobic pocket. Our results suggest that Gwl activation could be mediated by the binding of its hydrophobic pocket to the hydrophobic motif of another AGC kinase. Our molecular modeling and mutagenic analysis also indicate that Gwl displays a conserved tail/linker site whose phosphorylation mediates kinase activation by promoting the interaction of this phosphorylated residue with two lysines at the N terminus. This interaction could stabilize the αC-helix and maintain kinase activity. Finally, the different phosphorylation sites on Gwl are identified, and the role of each one in the regulation of Gwl kinase activity is determined. Our data suggest that only the phosphorylation of the tail/linker site, located outside the putative T loop, appears to be essential for Gwl activation. In summary, our results identify Gwl as a member of the AGC family of kinases that appears to be regulated by unique mechanisms and that differs from the other members of this family.
PubMed ID: 21444715
PMC ID: PMC3133244
Article link: Mol Cell Biol.
Genes referenced: mastl