Site-directed mutagenesis of serine 40 of rat tyrosine hydroxylase. Effects of dopamine and cAMP-dependent phosphorylation on enzyme activity

S. C. Daubner, C. Lauriano, J. W. Haycock, P. F. Fitzpatrick

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136 Scopus citations


Rat tyrosine hydroxylase expressed with a baculovirus expression system contains covalent phosphate and has kinetic parameters consistent with those expected of phosphorylated enzyme (Fitzpatrick, P. F., Chlumsky, L. J., Daubner, S. C., and O'Malley, K. L. (1990) J. Biol. Chem. 265, 2042-2047). The phosphorylation site was identified as serine 40, by purifying the enzyme from cells grown in the presence of [32P]phosphate. Replacement of serine 40 with alanine by site-directed mutagenesis prevented phosphorylation but had little effect on the steady-state kinetic parameters at pH 7. Both wild type and S40A tyrosine hydroxylase were expressed in Escherichia coli; the kinetic parameters of the enzymes purified from bacteria were nearly identical to those of the enzymes expressed with the baculovirus system, although the bacterially expressed enzyme contained no covalent phosphate. Treatment of this wild type enzyme with cAMP-dependent protein kinase decreased the K(BH4) value about 2-fold but had no effect on the V(max) value at pH 7. Treatment with a stoichiometric amount of dopamine decreased the V(max) value 15-fold and increased the K(BH4) value 2-3-fold. Phosphorylation of the dopamine-bound enzyme increased the V(max) value 10-fold and decreased the K(BH4) value 2-fold. The kinetic parameters of the dopamine-bound recombinant enzyme were identical to those of enzyme purified from PC12 cells. In contrast, the S40A enzyme was converted to a less active form by treatment with dopamine but was not affected by phosphorylating conditions. These results are consistent with a model in which the major effect of phosphorylation of serine 40 is to relieve tyrosine hydroxylase from the inhibitory effects of catecholamines.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)12639-12646
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number18
StatePublished - 1992

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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