CAMP activation of PKA defines an ancient signaling mechanism.
ABSTRACT: cAMP and the cAMP binding domain (CBD) constitute a ubiquitous regulatory switch that translates an extracellular signal into a biological response. The CBD contains alpha- and beta-subdomains with cAMP binding to a phosphate binding cassette (PBC) in the beta-sandwich. The major receptors for cAMP in mammalian cells are the regulatory subunits (R-subunits) of PKA where cAMP and the catalytic subunit compete for the same CBD. The R-subunits inhibit kinase activity, whereas cAMP releases that inhibition. Here, we use NMR to map at residue resolution the cAMP-dependent interaction network of the CBD-A domain of isoform Ialpha of the R-subunit of PKA. Based on H/D, H/H, and N(z) exchange data, we propose a molecular model for the allosteric regulation of PKA by cAMP. According to our model, cAMP binding causes long-range perturbations that propagate well beyond the immediate surroundings of the PBC and involve two key relay sites located at the C terminus of beta(2) (I163) and N terminus of beta(3) (D170). The I163 site functions as one of the key triggers of global unfolding, whereas the D170 locus acts as an electrostatic switch that mediates the communication between the PBC and the B-helix. Removal of cAMP not only disrupts the cap for the B' helix within the PBC, but also breaks the circuitry of cooperative interactions stemming from the PBC, thereby uncoupling the alpha- and beta-subdomains. The proposed model defines a signaling mechanism, conserved in every genome, where allosteric binding of a small ligand disrupts a large protein-protein interface.
Project description:Protein Kinase A (PKA) is the major receptor for the cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP) secondary messenger in eukaryotes. cAMP binds to two tandem cAMP-binding domains (CBD-A and -B) within the regulatory subunit of PKA (R), unleashing the activity of the catalytic subunit (C). While CBD-A in RI? is required for PKA inhibition and activation, CBD-B functions as a "gatekeeper" domain that modulates the control exerted by CBD-A. Preliminary evidence suggests that CBD-B dynamics are critical for its gatekeeper function. To test this hypothesis, here we investigate by Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) the two-domain construct RI? (91-379) in its apo, cAMP2, and C-bound forms. Our comparative NMR analyses lead to a double conformational selection model in which each apo CBD dynamically samples both active and inactive states independently of the adjacent CBD within a nearly degenerate free energy landscape. Such degeneracy is critical to explain the sensitivity of CBD-B to weak interactions with C and its high affinity for cAMP. Binding of cAMP eliminates this degeneracy, as it selectively stabilizes the active conformation within each CBD and inter-CBD contacts, which require both cAMP and W260. The latter is contributed by CBD-B and mediates capping of the cAMP bound to CBD-A. The inter-CBD interface is dispensable for intra-CBD conformational selection, but is indispensable for full activation of PKA as it occludes C-subunit recognition sites within CBD-A. In addition, the two structurally homologous cAMP-bound CBDs exhibit marked differences in their residual dynamics profiles, supporting the notion that conservation of structure does not necessarily imply conservation of dynamics.
Project description:Cyclic nucleotides (cAMP and cGMP) regulate multiple intracellular processes and are thus of a great general interest for molecular and structural biologists. To study the allosteric mechanism of different cyclic nucleotide binding (CNB) domains, we compared cAMP-bound and cAMP-free structures (PKA, Epac, and two ionic channels) using a new bioinformatics method: local spatial pattern alignment. Our analysis highlights four major conserved structural motifs: 1) the phosphate binding cassette (PBC), which binds the cAMP ribose-phosphate, 2) the "hinge," a flexible helix, which contacts the PBC, 3) the beta(2,3) loop, which provides precise positioning of an invariant arginine from the PBC, and 4) a conserved structural element consisting of an N-terminal helix, an eight residue loop and the A-helix (N3A-motif). The PBC and the hinge were included in the previously reported allosteric model, whereas the definition of the beta(2,3) loop and the N3A-motif as conserved elements is novel. The N3A-motif is found in all cis-regulated CNB domains, and we present a model for an allosteric mechanism in these domains. Catabolite gene activator protein (CAP) represents a trans-regulated CNB domain family: it does not contain the N3A-motif, and its long range allosteric interactions are substantially different from the cis-regulated CNB domains.
Project description:Protein kinase A (PKA) is the main receptor for the universal cAMP second messenger. PKA is a tetramer with two catalytic (C) and two regulatory (R) subunits, each including two tandem cAMP binding domains, i.e. CBD-A and -B. Structural investigations of RIalpha have revealed that although CBD-A plays a pivotal role in the cAMP-dependent inhibition of C, the main function of CBD-B is to regulate the access of cAMP to site A. To further understand the mechanism underlying the cross-talk between CBD-A and -B, we report here the NMR investigation of a construct of R, RIalpha-(119-379), which unlike previous fragments characterized by NMR, spans in full both CBDs. Our NMR studies were also extended to two mutants, R209K and the corresponding R333K, which severely reduce the affinity of cAMP for CBD-A and -B, respectively. The comparative NMR analysis of wild-type RIalpha-(119-379) and of the two domain silencing mutations has led to the definition at an unprecedented level of detail of both intra- and interdomain allosteric networks, revealing several striking differences between the two CBDs. First, the two domains, although homologous in sequence and structure, exhibit remarkably different responses to the R/K mutations especially at the beta2-3 allosteric "hot spot." Second, although the two CBDs are reciprocally coupled at the level of local unfolding of the hinge, the A-to-B and B-to-A pathways are dramatically asymmetrical at the level of global unfolding. Such an asymmetric interdomain cross-talk ensures efficiency and robustness in both the activation and de-activation of PKA.
Project description:Exchange proteins directly activated by cAMP (Epac) make up a family of cAMP binding domain-containing proteins that play important roles in mediating the effects of cAMP through the activation of downstream small GTPases, Ras-proximate proteins. To delineate the mechanism of Epac activation, we probed the conformation and structural dynamics of Epac using amide hydrogen-deuterium (H-D) exchange coupled with Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FT-IR) and structural modeling. Our studies show that unlike that of cAMP-dependent protein kinase (PKA), the classic intracellular cAMP receptor, binding of cAMP to Epac does not induce significant changes in overall secondary structure and structural dynamics, as measured by FT-IR and the rate of H-D exchange, respectively. These results suggest that Epac activation does not involve significant changes in the amount of exposed surface areas as in the case of PKA activation, and conformational changes induced by cAMP in Epac are most likely confined to small local regions. Homology modeling and comparative structural analyses of the CBDs of Epac and PKA lead us to propose a model of Epac activation. On the basis of our model, Epac activation by cAMP employs the same underlying structural principal utilized by PKA, although the detailed structural and conformational changes associated with Epac and PKA activation are significantly different. In addition, we predict that during Epac activation the first beta-strand of the switchboard switches its conformation to a alpha-helix, which folds back to the beta-barrel core of the CBD and interacts directly with cAMP to form the base of the cAMP-binding pocket.
Project description:The cAMP-PKA pathway consists of an extracellular ligand-sensitive G protein-coupled receptor, a G protein signal transmitter, and the effector, adenylate cyclase, of which the product, cAMP, acts as an intracellular second messenger. cAMP activates PKA by dissociating the regulatory subunit from the catalytic subunit. Yeast cells (Saccharomyces cerevisiae) contain a glucose/sucrose-sensitive seven-transmembrane domain receptor, Gpr1, that was proposed to activate adenylate cyclase through the G(alpha) protein Gpa2. Consistently, we show here that adenylate cyclase binds only to active, GTP-bound Gpa2. Two related kelch-repeat proteins, Krh1/Gpb2 and Krh2/Gpb1, are associated with Gpa2 and were suggested to act as G(beta) mimics for Gpa2, based on their predicted seven-bladed beta-propeller structure. However, we find that although Krh1 associates with both GDP and GTP-bound Gpa2, it displays a preference for GTP-Gpa2. The strong down-regulation of PKA targets by Krh1 and Krh2 does not require Gpa2 but is strictly dependent on both the catalytic and the regulatory subunits of PKA. Krh1 directly interacts with PKA by means of the catalytic subunits, and Krh1/2 stimulate the association between the catalytic and regulatory subunits in vivo. Indeed, both a constitutively active GPA2 allele and deletion of KRH1/2 lower the cAMP requirement of PKA for growth. We propose that active Gpa2 relieves the inhibition imposed by the kelch-repeat proteins on PKA, thereby bypassing adenylate cyclase for direct regulation of PKA. Importantly, we show that Krh1/2 also enhance the association between mouse R and C subunits, suggesting that Krh control of PKA has been evolutionarily conserved.
Project description:Undifferentiated cells from preantral (PA) follicles respond to high levels of cAMP in a different manner than do differentiated cells from preovulatory (PO) follicles. We hypothesized that this differential response of PA and PO cells to cAMP could be due, in part, to either a difference in the profile of isoforms that comprise the cAMP-dependent protein kinase (PKA) holoenzymes and/or a difference in the interaction of PKA with A-kinase-anchoring proteins (AKAPs). To test these hypotheses, PKA activity, PKA holoenzymes, PKA subunits and AKAPs from PA and PO ovaries were compared. Soluble PKA holoenzymes and regulatory (R) subunits were separated by DEAE-cellulose chromatography and sucrose-density-gradient centrifugation. PKA R subunits were distinguished by photoaffinity labelling, autophosphorylation, size, isoelectric point and immunoreactivity. AKAPs were identified by RII subunit overlay assays and immunoreactivity. The results showed that extracts from PA and PO ovaries exhibited equivalent PKA holoenzyme profiles and activities, characterized by low levels of PKA type I (PKAI) holoenzyme and two distinct PKAII holoenzyme peaks, one containing only RIIbeta subunits (PKAIIbeta) and one containing both PKAIIbeta and PKAIIalpha holoenzymes. Both PA and PO ovarian extracts also contained PKA catalytic (C)-subunit-free RIalpha, while only PO ovaries exhibited C-subunit-free RIIbeta. Consistent with the elevated levels of C-subunit-free RIIbeta in PO cells, PKA activation in PO cells required higher concentrations of forskolin than that in PA cells. While extracts of PA and PO ovaries exhibited a number of similar AKAPs, including four prominent ones reactive with anti-AKAP-KL antisera (where AKAP-KL is an AKAP especially abundant in kidney and liver), cAMP-agarose affinity chromatography revealed two major differences in AKAP binding to purified R subunits. PO ovaries contained increased levels of AKAP80 (AKAP of 80 kDa) bound selectively to R subunits in DEAE-cellulose peak 2 (comprising PKAIIbeta and RIalpha), but not to R subunits in DEAE-cellulose peak 3 (comprising PKAIIalpha, PKAIIbeta and RIIbeta). PO ovaries also showed increased binding of R subunits to AKAPs reactive with anti-AKAP-KL antisera at 210, 175, 150 and 115 kDa. Thus in PO ovaries, unlike in PA ovaries, the majority of AKAPs are bound to R subunits. These results suggest that altered PKA-AKAP interactions may contribute to the distinct responses of PA and PO follicles to high levels of cAMP, and that higher cAMP levels are required to activate PKA in PO ovaries.
Project description:Localization of protein kinase A (PKA) via A-kinase-anchoring proteins (AKAPs) is important for cAMP responsiveness in many cellular systems, and evidence suggests that AKAPs play an important role in cardiac signaling. To test the importance of AKAP-mediated targeting of PKA on cardiac function, we designed a cell-permeable peptide, which we termed trans-activator of transcription (TAT)-AKAD for TAT-conjugated A-kinase-anchoring disruptor, using the PKA binding region of AKAP10 and tested the effects of this peptide in isolated cardiac myocytes and in Langendorff-perfused mouse hearts. We initially validated TAT-AKAD as a PKA localization inhibitor in cardiac myocytes by the use of confocal microscopy and cellular fractionation to show that treatment with the peptide disrupts type I and type II PKA regulatory subunits. Knockdown of PKA activity was demonstrated by decrease in phosphorylation of phospholamban and troponin I after beta-adrenergic stimulation in isolated myocytes. Treatment with TAT-AKAD reduced myocyte shortening and rates of contraction and relaxation. Injection of TAT-AKAD (1 microM), but not scrambled control peptide, into the coronary circulation of isolated perfused hearts rapidly (<1 min) and reversibly decreased heart rate and peak left ventricular developed pressure. TAT-AKAD also had a pronounced effect on developed pressure (-dP/dt), consistent with a delayed relaxation of the heart. The effects of TAT-AKAD on heart rate and contractility persisted in hearts pretreated with isoproterenol. Disruption of PKA localization with TAT-AKAD thus had negative effects on chronotropy, inotropy, and lusitropy, thereby indicating a key role for AKAP-targeted PKA in control of heart rate and contractile function.
Project description:Basic leucine zipper (bZip) transcription factors regulate cellular gene expression in response to a variety of extracellular signals and nutrient cues. Although the bZip domain is widely known to play significant roles in DNA binding and dimerization, recent studies point to an additional role for this motif in the recruitment of the transcriptional apparatus. For example, the cAMP response element binding protein (CREB)-regulated transcriptional coactivator (CRTC) family of transcriptional coactivators has been proposed to promote the expression of calcium and cAMP responsive genes, by binding to the CREB bZip in response to extracellular signals. Here we show that the CREB-binding domain (CBD) of CRTC2 folds into a single isolated 28-residue helix that seems to be critical for its interaction with the CREB bZip. The interaction is of micromolar affinity on palindromic and variant half-site cAMP response elements (CREs). The CBD and CREB assemble on the CRE with 2:2:1 stoichiometry, consistent with the presence of one CRTC binding site on each CREB monomer. Indeed, the CBD helix and the solvent-exposed residues in the dimeric CREB bZip coiled-coil form an extended protein-protein interface. Because mutation of relevant bZip residues in this interface disrupts the CRTC interaction without affecting DNA binding, our results illustrate that distinct DNA binding and transactivation functions are encoded within the structural constraints of a canonical bZip domain.
Project description:Assembly of multi enzyme complexes at subcellular localizations by anchoring- and scaffolding proteins represents a pivotal mechanism for achieving spatiotemporal regulation of cellular signaling after hormone receptor targeting [for review, see (1)]. In the 3' 5'-cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP) dependent protein kinase (PKA) signaling pathway it is generally accepted that specificity is secured at several levels. This includes at the first level stimulation of receptors coupled to heterotrimeric G proteins which through stimulation of adenylyl cyclase (AC) forms the second messenger cAMP. Cyclic AMP has several receptors including PKA. PKA is a tetrameric holoenzyme consisting of a regulatory (R) subunit dimer and two catalytic (C) subunits. The R subunit is the receptor for cAMP and compartmentalizes cAMP signals through binding to cell and tissue-specifically expressed A kinase anchoring proteins (AKAPs). The current dogma tells that in the presence of cAMP, PKA dissociates into an R subunit dimer and two C subunits which are free to phosphorylate relevant substrates in the cytosol and nucleus. The release of the C subunit has raised the question how specificity of the cAMP and PKA signaling pathway is maintained when the C subunit no longer is attached to the R subunit-AKAP complex. An increasing body of evidence points toward a regulatory role of the cAMP and PKA signaling pathway by targeting the C subunits to various C subunit binding proteins in the cytosol and nucleus. Moreover, recent identification of isoform specific amino acid sequences, motifs and three dimensional structures have together provided new insight into how PKA at the level of the C subunit may act in a highly isoform-specific fashion. Here we discuss recent understanding of specificity of the cAMP and PKA signaling pathway based on C subunit subcellular targeting as well as evolution of the C subunit structure that may contribute to the dynamic regulation of C subunit activity.
Project description:cAMP regulates cellular functions primarily by activating PKA. The involvement of PKAs in various signaling pathways occurring simultaneously in different cellular compartments necessitates stringent spatial and temporal regulation. This specificity is largely achieved by binding of PKA to protein scaffolds, whereby a distinct group of proteins called A kinase anchoring proteins (AKAPs) play a dominant role. AKAPs are a diverse family of proteins that all bind via a small PKA binding domain to the regulatory subunits of PKA. The binding affinities between PKA and several AKAPs can be different for different isoforms of the regulatory subunits of PKA. Here we employ a combination of affinity chromatography and mass spectrometry-based quantitative proteomics to investigate specificity in PKA-AKAP interactions. Three different immobilized cAMP analogs were used to enrich for PKA and its interacting proteins from several systems; HEK293 and RCC10 cells and rat lung and testis tissues. Stable isotope labeling was used to confidently identify and differentially quantify target proteins and their preferential binding affinity for the three different cAMP analogs. We were able to enrich all four isoforms of the regulatory subunits of PKA and concomitantly identify more than 10 AKAPs. A selective enrichment of the PKA RI isoforms could be achieved; which allowed us to unravel which AKAPs bind preferentially to the RI or RII regulatory domains of PKA. Of the twelve AKAPs detected, seven preferentially bound to RII, whereas the remaining five displayed at least dual specificity with a potential preference for RI. For some of these AKAPs our data provide the first insights into their specificity.