Phosphorylation of keratinocyte transglutaminase occurs in its N-terminal extension and is stimulated several-fold by the protein kinase C agonist phorbol myristate acetate. In the present work, this stimulation was prevented by simultaneous treatment of the cells with the protein kinase C-selective inhibitor GF109203X. In contrast, phosphorylation occurring in the absence of phorbol ester was essentially unaffected by GF109203X, although it was decreased dramatically by the non-selective kinase inhibitor staurosporine. Four serine residues that are subject to phosphorylation have been identified by sequencing of radioactive tryptic peptides. Serines at positions 24 and 92, each containing 2–8% of the total radioactivity with or without phorbol ester stimulation, were minor sites of phosphorylation. Serine-82 was by far the dominant site of phosphorylation in the absence of phorbol ester treatment, and was also the major site in its presence. Serine-85 was phosphorylated to a high degree in the presence but not in the absence of phorbol ester stimulation. Thus the data indicate the influence of at least two different kinase activities in transglutaminase phosphorylation.

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Author notes

Present address: Becton Dickinson, San Jose, CA 95131-1807, U.S.A.