Activation of MAP kinases and phosphorylation of caldesmon in canine colonic smooth muscle

WT Gerthoffer, IA Yamboliev, Morven Caroline Shearer, J Pohl, R Haynes, S Dang, K Sato, JR Sellers

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

99 Citations (Scopus)


1. Phosphorylation of caldesmon was assayed in canine colonic circular smooth muscle strips labelled with P-32 and stimulated with 10 mu M acetylcholine. Caldesmon was isolated by two-dimensional non-equilibrium pH gel electrophoresis. Stimulation with acetylcholine increased caldesmon phosphorylation significantly from a basal level of 0.6 +/- 0.07 to 1.1 +/- 0.15 mol P-i (mol caldesmon)(-1) after 2 min.

2. MAP kinase activities were measured in SDS extracts of muscle by a gel reconstitution method using myelin basic protein. Myelin basic protein kinase activities were observed at 38, 44, 50 and 57 kDa by the gel reconstitution method. Endogenous caldesmon kinase activities were also identified by the gel reconstitution method at 38, 44 and 50 kDa. The 38 and 44 kDa kinases comigrated with proteins labelled by anti-ERK1 MAP liinase antibodies on Western blots. Both 38 and 44 kDa MBP kinase activities increased significantly during contractions induced by 10 mu M acetylcholine, 0.1 mu M neurokinin A and 70 mM potassium.

3. Phorbol dibutyrate (0.1 mu M) potentiated activation of MAP kinases and contraction of depolarized muscles while producing a decrease in fura-2 fluorescence ratio. This suggests that protein liinase C activation is coupled to MAP kinase activity in colonic smooth muscle.

4. MAP kinases isolated from muscle homogenates by Mono & chromatography were assayed using the specific MAP kinase substrate peptide APRTPGGRR. Stimulation of muscles for 2 min with 10 mu M acetylcholine activated both ERK1 and ERK2 MAP kinase activities 2-fold.

5. To determine the effects of caldesmon phosphorylation by MAP kinase on the cross-bridge cycle, actin sliding velocity was measured with an in vitro motility assay, Unphosphorylated turkey gizzard caldesmon (3 mu M) significantly reduced mean sliding velocity. Phosphorylation of caldesmon with sea star ERK1 MAP kinase reversed the inhibitory effect of caldesmon on sliding velocity. The results are consistent with a protein kinase cascade being activated by contractile agonists in gastrointestinal smooth muscle which activates ERK MAP kinases leading to phosphorylation of caldesmon. Phosphorylation of caldesmon in viveo may reverse inhibitory influences of caldesmon on cross-bridge cycling.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)597-609
Number of pages13
JournalThe Journal of Physiology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 15 Sept 1996




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