Phospholemman, a transmembrane, 72 residue protein enriched in striated muscle and heart [Palmer, Scott and Jones (1991) J. Biol. Chem. 266, 11126-11130], is phosphorylated in response to insulin [Walaas, Horn and Walaas (1991) Biochim. Biophys. Acta 1094, 92-102]. The present study is aimed at identifying the phosphorylation sites of this protein. A synthetic peptide, GTFRSS63IRRLS68TRRR (in the single letter code) and consisting of phospholemman residues 58-72, is a substrate for both protein kinase C and cyclic AMP (cAMP)-dependent protein kinase, with Km values of 6-7 microM for both enzymes. Amino acid sequencing of the phosphopeptide shows that protein kinase C phosphorylates both Ser-63 and Ser-68, while cAMP-dependent protein kinase phosphorylates Ser-68. Thermolytic phosphopeptide mapping of 32P-labelled phospholemman from rat diaphragms shows that treatment with insulin results in labelling of phosphopeptides containing both Ser-63 and Ser-68, whereas treatment with adrenaline results in labelling of the phosphopeptide containing Ser-68. Hence, insulin and adrenaline regulate the phosphorylation of phospholemman, presumably through protein kinase C and cAMP-dependent protein kinase, respectively, on partly overlapping phosphorylation sites.

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