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The intermediate filament protein keratin 8 is a novel cytoplasmic substrate for c-Jun N-terminal kinase


Holmström,  T. H.
Former Research Groups, Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry, Max Planck Society;

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He, T., Stepulak, A., Holmström, T. H., Omary, M. B., & Eriksson, J. E. (2002). The intermediate filament protein keratin 8 is a novel cytoplasmic substrate for c-Jun N-terminal kinase. Journal of Biological Chemistry, 277(13), 10767-10774.

Keratins 8 (KS) and IS are the primary intermediate filaments of simple epithelia. Phosphorylation of keratins at specific sites affects their organization, assembly dynamics, and their interaction with signaling molecules. A number of keratin in vitro and in vivo phosphorylation sites have been identified. One example is KS Ser-73, which has been implicated as an important phosphorylation site during mitosis, cell stress, and apoptosis. We show that K8 is strongly phosphorylated on Ser-73 upon stimulation of the pro-apoptotic cytokine receptor Fas/CD95/Apo-1 in HT-29 cells. Kinase assays showed that c-Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK) was also activated with activation kinetics corresponding to that of K8 phosphorylation. Furthermore, KS was also phosphorylated on Ser-73 by JNK in vitro, yielding similar phosphopeptide maps as the in vivo phosphorylated material. In addition, co-immunoprecipitation studies revealed that part of JNK is associated with K8 in vivo, correlating with decreased ability of JNK to phosphorylate the endogenous c-Jun. Taken together, K8 is a new cytoplasmic target for JNK in Fas receptor-mediated signaling. The functional significance of this phosphorylation could relate to regulation of JNK signaling and/or regulation of keratin dynamics.