A novel Ste20-related proline/alanine-rich kinase (SPAK)-independent pathway involving calcium-binding protein 39 (Cab39) and serine threonine kinase with no lysine member 4 (WNK4) in the activation of Na-K-Cl cotransporters.
ABSTRACT: Na(+)-dependent chloride cotransporters (NKCC1, NKCC2, and NCC) are activated by phosphorylation to play critical roles in diverse physiological responses, including renal salt balance, hearing, epithelial fluid secretion, and volume regulation. Serine threonine kinase WNK4 (With No K = lysine member 4) and members of the Ste20 kinase family, namely SPAK and OSR1 (Ste20-related proline/alanine-rich kinase, Oxidative stress-responsive kinase) govern phosphorylation. According to present understanding, WNK4 phosphorylates key residues within SPAK/OSR1 leading to kinase activation, allowing SPAK/OSR1 to bind to and phosphorylate NKCC1, NKCC2, and NCC. Recently, the calcium-binding protein 39 (Cab39) has emerged as a binding partner and enhancer of SPAK/OSR1 activity, facilitating kinase autoactivation and promoting phosphorylation of the cotransporters. In the present study, we provide evidence showing that Cab39 differentially interacts with WNK4 and SPAK/OSR1 to switch the classic two kinase cascade into a signal kinase transduction mechanism. We found that WNK4 in association with Cab39 activates NKCC1 in a SPAK/OSR1-independent manner. We discovered that WNK4 possesses a domain that bears close resemblance to the SPAK/OSR1 C-terminal CCT/PF2 domain, which is required for physical interaction between the Ste20 kinases and the Na(+)-driven chloride cotransporters. Modeling, yeast two-hybrid, and functional data reveal that this PF2-like domain located downstream of the catalytic domain in WNK4 promotes the direct interaction between the kinase and NKCC1. We conclude that in addition to SPAK and OSR1, WNK4 is able to anchor itself to the N-terminal domain of NKCC1 and to promote cotransporter activation.
Project description:The oxidative-stress-responsive kinase 1 (OSR1) and the STE20/SPS1-related proline/alanine-rich kinase (SPAK) are key enzymes in a signaling cascade regulating the activity of Na(+)-K(+)-2Cl(-) cotransporters (NKCC1-2) and Na(+)-Cl(-) cotransporter (NCC). Both kinases have a conserved carboxyl-terminal (CCT) domain, which recognizes a unique peptide motif present in OSR1- and SPAK-activating kinases (with-no-lysine kinase 1 (WNK1) and WNK4) as well as their substrates (NKCC1, NKCC2, and NCC). Utilizing various modalities of the Rosetta Molecular Modeling Software Suite including flexible peptide docking and protein design, we comprehensively explored the sequence space recognized by the CCT domain. Specifically, we studied single residue mutations as well as complete unbiased designs of a hexapeptide substrate. The computational study started from a crystal structure of the CCT domain of OSR1 in complex with a hexapeptide derived from WNK4. Point mutations predicted to be favorable include Arg to His or Trp substitutions at position 2 and a Phe to Tyr substitution at position 3 of the hexapeptide. In addition, de novo design yielded two peptides predicted to bind to the CCT domain: FRFQVT and TRFDVT. These results, which indicate a little bit more freedom in the composition of the peptide, were confirmed through the use of yeast two-hybrid screening.
Project description:Na(+)-K(+)-2Cl(-) cotransporters (NKCCs), including NKCC1 and renal-specific NKCC2, and the Na(+)-Cl(-) cotransporter (NCC) play pivotal roles in the regulation of blood pressure (BP) and renal NaCl reabsorption. Oxidative stress-responsive kinase-1 (OSR1) is a known upstream regulator of N(K)CCs. We generated and analyzed global and kidney tubule-specific (KSP) OSR1 KO mice to elucidate the physiological role of OSR1 in vivo, particularly on BP and kidney function. Although global OSR1(-/-) mice were embryonically lethal, OSR1(+/-) mice had low BP associated with reduced phosphorylated (p) STE20 (sterile 20)/SPS1-related proline/alanine-rich kinase (SPAK) and p-NKCC1 abundance in aortic tissue and attenuated p-NKCC2 abundance with increased total and p-NCC expression in the kidney. KSP-OSR1(-/-) mice had normal BP and hypercalciuria and maintained significant hypokalemia on a low-K(+) diet. KSP-OSR1(-/-) mice exhibited impaired Na(+) reabsorption in the thick ascending loop on a low-Na(+) diet accompanied by remarkably decreased expression of p-NKCC2 and a blunted response to furosemide, an NKCC2 inhibitor. The expression of total SPAK and p-SPAK was significantly increased in parallel to that of total NCC and p-NCC despite unchanged total NKCC2 expression. These results suggest that, globally, OSR1 is involved in the regulation of BP and renal tubular Na(+) reabsorption mainly via the activation of NKCC1 and NKCC2. In the kidneys, NKCC2 but not NCC is the main target of OSR1 and the reduced p-NKCC2 in KSP-OSR1(-/-) mice may lead to a Bartter-like syndrome.
Project description:Mouse protein-25 (MO25) isoforms bind to the STRAD pseudokinase and stabilise it in a conformation that can activate the LKB1 tumour suppressor kinase. We demonstrate that by binding to several STE20 family kinases, MO25 has roles beyond controlling LKB1. These new MO25 targets are SPAK/OSR1 kinases, regulators of ion homeostasis and blood pressure, and MST3/MST4/YSK1, involved in controlling development and morphogenesis. Our analyses suggest that MO25? and MO25? associate with these STE20 kinases in a similar manner to STRAD. MO25 isoforms induce approximately 100-fold activation of SPAK/OSR1 dramatically enhancing their ability to phosphorylate the ion cotransporters NKCC1, NKCC2 and NCC, leading to the identification of several new phosphorylation sites. siRNA-mediated reduction of expression of MO25 isoforms in mammalian cells inhibited phosphorylation of endogenous NKCC1 at residues phosphorylated by SPAK/OSR1, which is rescued by re-expression of MO25?. MO25?/? binding to MST3/MST4/YSK1 also stimulated kinase activity three- to four-fold. MO25 has evolved as a key regulator of a group of STE20 kinases and may represent an ancestral mechanism of regulating conformation of pseudokinases and activating catalytically competent protein kinases.
Project description:Mammalian Ste20-related kinases modulate salt transport and ion homeostasis through physical interaction and phosphorylation of cation-chloride cotransporters. Identification of a sea urchin (Strongylocentrotus purpuratus) ortholog of the mouse Oxidative Stress Response 1 (OSR1) kinase prompted the cloning and testing of the functional effect of a non-mammalian kinase on a mammalian cotransporter. Heterologous expression of sea urchin OSR1 (suOSR1) cRNA with mouse WNK4 cRNA and mouse NKCC1 cRNA in Xenopus laevisoocytes activated the cotransporter indicating evolutionary conservation of the WNK4-OSR1-NKCC signaling pathway. However, expression of a suOSR1 kinase mutated to confer constitutive activity did not result in stimulation of the cotransporter. Using a chimeric strategy, we determined that both the mutated catalytic and regulatory domains of the suOSR1 kinase were functional, suggesting that the tertiary structure of full-length mutated suOSR1 must somehow adopt an inactive conformation. In order to identify the regions or residues which lock the suOSR1 kinase in an inactive conformation, we created and tested several additional chimeras by replacing specific portions of the suOSR1 gene with complimentary mouse OSR1 sequences. Co-expression of these chimeras identified several regions in both the catalytic and regulatory domain of suOSR1 which possibly prevented the kinase from acquiring an active conformation. Interestingly, non-functional suOSR1 chimeras were able to activate mouse NKCC1 when a mouse scaffolding protein, Cab39, was co-expressed in frog oocytes. Sea urchin/mouse OSR1 chimeras and kinase stabilization with mouse Cab39 has provided some novel insights into the activation mechanism of the Ste20-related kinases.
Project description:The oxidative-stress-responsive kinase 1 (OSR1) and the STE20/SPS1-related proline/alanine-rich kinase (SPAK) are key enzymes in a signalling cascade regulating the activity of Na(+)/K(+)/2Cl(-) co-transporters (NKCCs) in response to osmotic stress. Both kinases have a conserved carboxy-terminal (CCT) domain, which recognizes a unique peptide (Arg-Phe-Xaa-Val) motif present in OSR1- and SPAK-activating kinases (with-no-lysine kinase 1 (WNK1) and WNK4) as well as its substrates (NKCC1 and NKCC2). Here, we describe the structural basis of this recognition event as shown by the crystal structure of the CCT domain of OSR1 in complex with a peptide containing this motif, derived from WNK4. The CCT domain forms a novel protein fold that interacts with the Arg-Phe-Xaa-Val motif through a surface-exposed groove. An intricate web of interactions is observed between the CCT domain and an Arg-Phe-Xaa-Val motif-containing peptide derived from WNK4. Mutational analysis shows that these interactions are required for the CCT domain to bind to WNK1 and NKCC1. The CCT domain structure also shows how phosphorylation of a Ser/Thr residue preceding the Arg-Phe-Xaa-Val motif results in a steric clash, promoting its dissociation from the CCT domain. These results provide the first molecular insight into the mechanism by which the SPAK and OSR1 kinases specifically recognize their upstream activators and downstream substrates.
Project description:NKCC1 and KCC2, related cation-chloride cotransporters (CCC), regulate cell volume and ?-aminobutyric acid (GABA)-ergic neurotranmission by modulating the intracellular concentration of chloride [Cl(-)]. These CCCs are oppositely regulated by serine-threonine phosphorylation, which activates NKCC1 but inhibits KCC2. The kinase(s) that performs this function in the nervous system are not known with certainty. WNK1 and WNK4, members of the WNK (with no lysine [K]) kinase family, either directly or via the downstream SPAK/OSR1 Ste20-type kinases, regulate the furosemide-sensitive NKCC2 and the thiazide-sensitive NCC, kidney-specific CCCs. What role the novel WNK2 kinase plays in this regulatory cascade, if any, is unknown. Here, we show that WNK2, unlike other WNKs, is not expressed in kidney; rather, it is a neuron-enriched kinase primarily expressed in neocortical pyramidal cells, thalamic relay cells, and cerebellar granule and Purkinje cells in both the developing and adult brain. Bumetanide-sensitive and Cl(-)-dependent (86)Rb(+) uptake assays in Xenopus laevis oocytes revealed that WNK2 promotes Cl(-) accumulation by reciprocally activating NKCC1 and inhibiting KCC2 in a kinase-dependent manner, effectively bypassing normal tonicity requirements for cotransporter regulation. TiO(2) enrichment and tandem mass spectrometry studies demonstrate WNK2 forms a protein complex in the mammalian brain with SPAK, a known phosphoregulator of NKCC1. In this complex, SPAK is phosphorylated at Ser-383, a consensus WNK recognition site. These findings suggest a role for WNK2 in the regulation of CCCs in the mammalian brain, with implications for both cell volume regulation and/or GABAergic signaling.
Project description:The SPAK (STE20/SPS1-related proline/alanine-rich kinase) and OSR1 (oxidative stress-responsive kinase-1) kinases interact and phosphorylate NKCC1 (Na+-K+-2Cl- co-transporter-1), leading to its activation. Recent studies indicated that SPAK and OSR1 are phosphorylated and activated by the WNK1 [with no K (lysine) protein kinase-1] and WNK4, genes mutated in humans affected by Gordon's hypertension syndrome. In the present study, we have identified three residues in NKCC1 (Thr175/Thr179/Thr184 in shark or Thr203/Thr207/Thr212 in human) that are phosphorylated by SPAK and OSR1, and have developed a peptide substrate, CATCHtide (cation chloride co-transporter peptide substrate), to assess SPAK and OSR1 activity. Exposure of HEK-293 (human embryonic kidney) cells to osmotic stress, which leads to phosphorylation and activation of NKCC1, increased phosphorylation of NKCC1 at the sites targeted by SPAK/OSR1. The residues on NKCC1, phosphorylated by SPAK/OSR1, are conserved in other cation co-transporters, such as the Na+-Cl- co-transporter, the target of thiazide drugs that lower blood pressure in humans with Gordon's syndrome. Furthermore, we characterize the properties of a 92-residue CCT (conserved C-terminal) domain on SPAK and OSR1 that interacts with an RFXV (Arg-Phe-Xaa-Val) motif present in the substrate NKCC1 and its activators WNK1/WNK4. A peptide containing the RFXV motif interacts with nanomolar affinity with the CCT domains of SPAK/OSR1 and can be utilized to affinity-purify SPAK and OSR1 from cell extracts. Mutation of the arginine, phenylalanine or valine residue within this peptide abolishes binding to SPAK/OSR1. We have identified specific residues within the CCT domain that are required for interaction with the RFXV motif and have demonstrated that mutation of these in OSR1 inhibited phosphorylation of NKCC1, but not of CATCHtide which does not possess an RFXV motif. We establish that an intact CCT domain is required for WNK1 to efficiently phosphorylate and activate OSR1. These data establish that the CCT domain functions as a multipurpose docking site, enabling SPAK/OSR1 to interact with substrates (NKCC1) and activators (WNK1/WNK4).
Project description:WNK kinases, including WNK3, and the associated downstream Ste20/SPS1-related proline-alanine-rich protein kinase (SPAK) and oxidative stress responsive 1 (OSR1) kinases, comprise an important signaling cascade that regulates the cation-chloride cotransporters. Ischemia-induced stimulation of the bumetanide-sensitive Na(+)-K(+)-Cl(-) cotransporter (NKCC1) plays an important role in the pathophysiology of experimental stroke, but the mechanism of its regulation in this context is unknown. Here, we investigated the WNK3-SPAK/OSR1 pathway as a regulator of NKCC1 stimulation and their collective role in ischemic brain damage.Wild-type WNK3 and WNK3 knockout mice were subjected to ischemic stroke via transient middle cerebral artery occlusion. Infarct volume, brain edema, blood brain barrier damage, white matter demyelination, and neurological deficits were assessed. Total and phosphorylated forms of WNK3 and SPAK/OSR1 were assayed by immunoblotting and immunostaining. In vitro ischemia studies in cultured neurons and immature oligodendrocytes were conducted using the oxygen-glucose deprivation/reoxygenation method.WNK3 knockout mice exhibited significantly decreased infarct volume and axonal demyelination, less cerebral edema, and accelerated neurobehavioral recovery compared with WNK3 wild-type mice subjected to middle cerebral artery occlusion. The neuroprotective phenotypes conferred by WNK3 knockout were associated with a decrease in stimulatory hyperphosphorylations of the SPAK/OSR1 catalytic T-loop and of NKCC1 stimulatory sites Thr(203)/Thr(207)/Thr(212), as well as with decreased cell surface expression of NKCC1. Genetic inhibition of WNK3 or small interfering RNA knockdown of SPAK/OSR1 increased the tolerance of cultured primary neurons and oligodendrocytes to in vitro ischemia.These data identify a novel role for the WNK3-SPAK/OSR1-NKCC1 signaling pathway in ischemic neuroglial injury and suggest the WNK3-SPAK/OSR1 kinase pathway as a therapeutic target for neuroprotection after ischemic stroke.
Project description:Sodium-coupled SLC12 cation chloride cotransporters play important roles in cell volume and chloride homeostasis, epithelial fluid secretion, and renal tubular salt reabsorption. These cotransporters are phosphorylated and activated indirectly by With-No-Lysine (WNK) kinases through their downstream effector kinases, Ste20- and SPS1-related proline alanine-rich kinase (SPAK) and oxidative stress-responsive kinase 1 (OSR1). Multiple WNK kinases can coexist within a single cell type, although their relative contributions to SPAK/OSR1 activation and salt transport remain incompletely understood. Deletion of specific WNKs from cells that natively express a functional WNK-SPAK/OSR1 network will help resolve these knowledge gaps. Here, we outline a simple method to selectively knock out full-length WNK1 expression from mammalian cells using RNA-guided clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats/Cas9 endonucleases. Two clonal cell lines were generated by using a single-guide RNA (sgRNA) targeting exon 1 of the WNK1 gene, which produced indels that abolished WNK1 protein expression. Both cell lines exhibited reduced endogenous WNK4 protein abundance, indicating that WNK1 is required for WNK4 stability. Consistent with an on-target effect, the reduced WNK4 abundance was associated with increased expression of the KLHL3/cullin-3 E3 ubiquitin ligase complex and was rescued by exogenous WNK1 overexpression. Although the morphology of the knockout cells was indistinguishable from control, they exhibited low baseline SPAK/OSR1 activity and failed to trigger regulatory volume increase after hypertonic stress, confirming an essential role for WNK1 in cell volume regulation. Collectively, our data show how this new, powerful, and accessible gene-editing technology can be used to dissect and analyze WNK signaling networks.
Project description:Mutations in the human genes encoding WNK1 [with no K (lysine) protein kinase-1] and the related protein kinase WNK4 are the cause of Gordon's hypertension syndrome. Little is known about the molecular mechanism by which WNK isoforms regulate cellular processes. We immunoprecipitated WNK1 from extracts of rat testis and found that it was specifically associated with a protein kinase of the STE20 family termed 'STE20/SPS1-related proline/alanine-rich kinase' (SPAK). We demonstrated that WNK1 and WNK4 both interacted with SPAK as well as a closely related kinase, termed 'oxidative stress response kinase-1' (OSR1). Wildtype (wt) but not catalytically inactive WNK1 and WNK4 phosphorylated SPAK and OSR1 to a much greater extent than with other substrates utilized previously, such as myelin basic protein and claudin-4. Phosphorylation by WNK1 or WNK4 markedly increased SPAK and OSR1 activity. Phosphopeptide mapping studies demonstrated that WNK1 phosphorylated kinase-inactive SPAK and OSR1 at an equivalent residue located within the T-loop of the catalytic domain (Thr233 in SPAK, Thr185 in OSR1) and a serine residue located within a C-terminal non-catalytic region (Ser373 in SPAK, Ser325 in OSR1). Mutation of Thr185 to alanine prevented the activation of OSR1 by WNK1, whereas mutation of Thr185 to glutamic acid (to mimic phosphorylation) increased the basal activity of OSR1 over 20-fold and prevented further activation by WNK1. Mutation of Ser325 in OSR1 to alanine or glutamic acid did not affect the basal activity of OSR1 or its ability to be activated by WNK1. These findings suggest that WNK isoforms operate as protein kinases that activate SPAK and OSR1 by phosphorylating the T-loops of these enzymes, resulting in their activation. Our analysis also describes the first facile assay that can be employed to quantitatively assess WNK1 and WNK4 activity.