Two Cellular Protein Kinases, DNA-PK and PKA, Phosphorylate the Adenoviral L4-33K Protein and Have Opposite Effects on L1 Alternative RNA Splicing

Törmänen Persson H, Aksaas AK, Kvissel AK, Punga T, Engström Å, Skålhegg BS, Akusjärvi G

Accumulation of the complex set of alternatively processed mRNA from the adenovirus major late transcription unit (MLTU) is subjected to a temporal regulation involving both changes in poly (A) site choice and alternative 39 splice site usage. We have previously shown that the adenovirus L4-33K protein functions as an alternative splicing factor involved in activating the shift from L1-52,55K to L1-IIIa mRNA. Here we show that L4-33K specifically associates with the catalytic subunit of the DNA-dependent protein kinase (DNA-PK) in uninfected and adenovirus-infected nuclear extracts. Further, we show that L4- 33K is highly phosphorylated by DNA-PK in vitro in a double stranded DNA-independent manner. Importantly, DNA-PK deficient cells show an enhanced production of the L1-IIIa mRNA suggesting an inhibitory role of DNA-PK on the temporal switch in L1 alternative RNA splicing. Moreover, we show that L4-33K also is phosphorylated by protein kinase A (PKA), and that PKA has an enhancer effect on L4-33K-stimulated L1-IIIa splicing. Hence, we demonstrate that these kinases have opposite effects on L4-33K function; DNA-PK as an inhibitor and PKA as an activator of L1-IIIa mRNA splicing. Taken together, this is the first report identifying protein kinases that phosphorylate L4-33K and to suggest novel regulatory roles for DNA-PK and PKA in adenovirus alternative RNA splicing.

Cell Lysis

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February, 2012



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