Background: The mos proto-oncogene encodes a cytoplasmic serine/threonine-specific protein kinase with crucial function during meiotic cell division in vertebrates. Based on oncogenic amino acid substitutions the viral derivative, 124-v-Mos, displays constitutive protein kinase activity and functions independent of unknown upstream effectors of mos protein kinase. We have utilized this property of 124-v-Mos and screened for novel mos substrates in immunocomplex kinase assays in vitro. Results: We generated recombinant 124-v-Mos using the baculovirus expression system in Spodoptera frugiperda cells and demonstrated constitutive kinase activity by the ability of 124-v-Mos to auto-phosphorylate and to phosphorylate vimentin, a known substrate of c-Mos. Using this approach we analyzed a panel of acidic and basic substrates in immunocomplex protein kinase assays and identified novel in vitro substrates for 124-v-Mos, the protein tyrosine phosphatase 1B (PTP1B), alpha-casein and beta-casein. We controlled mos-specific phosphorylation of PTP1B and casein in comparative assays using a synthetic kinase-inactive 124-v-Mos mutant and further, tryptic digests of mos-phosphorylated beta-casein identified a phosphopeptide specifically targeted by wild-type 124-v-Mos. Two-dimensional phosphoamino acid analyses showed that 124-v-mos targets serine and threonine residues for phosphorylation in casein at a 1:1 ratio but auto-phosphorylation occurs predominantly on serine residues. Conclusion: The mos substrates identified in this study represent a basis to approach the identification of the mos-consensus phosphorylation motif, important for the development of specific inhibitors of the Mos protein kinase.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Molecular Biology