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Several peripheral membrane proteins associated with clathrin-coated vesicles (CCVs) are reversibly phosphorylated, but it is not clear precisely which protein kinases are involved. In order to address this question directly, we have isolated highly purified CCVs from porcine brain. The peripheral membrane proteins have been removed and assayed for kinase activity using the CCV peripheral membrane proteins as substrate. The major kinase activity identified has a molecular mass of 40 kDa, is inhibited by known specific inhibitors of the protein kinase CK2 and is recognised by an antibody specific to CK2. We show that CK2 is responsible for the phosphorylation of the majority of CCV-associated proteins that are subject to phosphorylation. Intriguingly, CK2 is inactive when associated with CCVs but becomes active once the clathrin coat has been removed. The medium subunit of the AP2 adaptor complex (mu2) is not a substrate for CK2, but is phosphorylated by a second kinase that we show to be cyclin G-associated kinase (GAK/auxilin2). Unlike the situation for the CK2 substrates, mu2 is a substrate for GAK/auxilin2, both in intact CCVs and in solution. In addition, we show that the 'stripped' CCV membranes that remain once the peripheral membrane proteins have been removed from CCVs inhibit CK2 but not GAK/auxilin2 activity.


Viktor I Korolchuk, George Banting. CK2 and GAK/auxilin2 are major protein kinases in clathrin-coated vesicles. Traffic (Copenhagen, Denmark). 2002 Jun;3(6):428-39

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PMID: 12010461

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