Skip to main content
Phosphorylation Releases Constraints to Domain Motion in ERK2
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America (2014)
  • Yao Xiao, University of Colorado Boulder
  • Thomas Lee, University of Colorado Boulder
  • Michael Parker Latham, University of Colorado Boulder
  • Lisa Rose Warner, University of Colorado Boulder
  • Akiko Tanimoto, University of Colorado Boulder
  • Arthur Pardi, University of Colorado Boulder
  • Natalie G. Ahn, University of Colorado Boulder
Protein motions control enzyme catalysis through mechanisms that are incompletely understood. Here NMR <sup>13</sup>C relaxation dispersion experiments were used to monitor changes in side-chain motions that occur in response to activation by phosphorylation of the MAP kinase ERK2. NMR data for the methyl side chains on Ile, Leu, and Val residues showed changes in conformational exchange dynamics in the microsecond-to-millisecond time regime between the different activity states of ERK2. In inactive, unphosphorylated ERK2, localized conformational exchange was observed among methyl side chains, with little evidence for coupling between residues. Upon dual phosphorylation by MAP kinase kinase 1, the dynamics of assigned methyls in ERK2 were altered throughout the conserved kinase core, including many residues in the catalytic pocket. The majority of residues in active ERK2 fit to a single conformational exchange process, with k<sub>ex</sub> ≈ 300 s<sup>−1</sup> (k<sub>AB</sub> ≈ 240 s<sup>−1</sup>/k<sub>BA</sub> ≈ 60 s<sup>−1</sup>) and p<sub>A</sub>/p<sub>B</sub> ≈ 20%/80%, suggesting global domain motions involving interconversion between two states. A mutant of ERK2, engineered to enhance conformational mobility at the hinge region linking the N- and C-terminal domains, also induced two-state conformational exchange throughout the kinase core, with exchange properties of k<sub>ex</sub> ≈ 500 s<sup>−1</sup> (k<sub>AB</sub> ≈ 15 s<sup>−1</sup>/k<sub>BA</sub> ≈ 485 s<sup>−1</sup>) and p<sub>A</sub>/p<sub>B</sub> ≈ 97%/3%. Thus, phosphorylation and activation of ERK2 lead to a dramatic shift in conformational exchange dynamics, likely through release of constraints at the hinge.
Publication Date
February 18, 2014
Citation Information
Yao Xiao, Thomas Lee, Michael Parker Latham, Lisa Rose Warner, et al.. "Phosphorylation Releases Constraints to Domain Motion in ERK2" Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America Vol. 111 Iss. 7 (2014) p. 2506 - 2511
Available at: