The allosteric mechanism induced by protein kinase a (PKA) phosphorylation of dematin (band 4.9)

Lin Chen, Jeffrey W. Brown, Yee Foong Mok, Danny M. Hatters, C. James McKnight

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Dematin (band 4.9) is an F-actin binding and bundling protein best known for its role within red blood cells, where it both stabilizes as well as attaches the spectrin/actin cytoskeleton to the erythrocytic membrane. Here, we investigate the structural consequences of phosphorylating serine 381, a covalent modification that turns off F-actin bundling activity. In contrast to the canonical doctrine, in which phosphorylation of an intrinsically disordered region/protein confers affinity for another domain/ protein, we found the converse to be true of dematin: phosphorylation of the well folded C-terminal villin-type headpiece confers affinity for its intrinsically disordered N-terminal core domain. We employed analytical ultracentrifugation to demonstrate that dematin is monomeric, in contrast to the prevailing view that it is trimeric. Next, using a series of truncation mutants, we verified that dematin has two F-actin binding sites, one in the core domain and the other in the headpiece domain. Although the phosphorylation-mimicking mutant, S381E, was incapable of bundling microfilaments, it retains the ability to bind F-actin. We found that a phosphorylation-mimicking mutant, S381E, eliminated the ability to bundle, but not bind F-actin filaments. Lastly, we show that the S381E point mutant caused the headpiece domain to associate with the core domain, leading us to the mechanism for cAMP-dependent kinase control of dematin's F-actin bundling activity: when unphosphorylated, dematin's two F-actin binding domains move independent of one another permitting them to bind different F-actin filaments. Phosphorylation causes these two domains to associate, forming a compact structure, and sterically eliminating one of these F-actin binding sites.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)8313-8320
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number12
StatePublished - Mar 22 2013


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