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cGMP-dependent protein kinase or Protein Kinase G (PKG) is a serine/threonine-specific protein kinase that is activated by cGMP. It phosphorylates a number of biologically important targets and is implicated in the regulation of smooth muscle relaxation, platelet function, sperm metabolism, cell division, and nucleic acid synthesis.

Genes and proteins[edit | edit source]

PKG are serine/threonine kinases that are present in a variety of eukaryotes ranging from the unicellular organism Paramecium to humans. Two PKG genes, coding for PKG type I (PKG-I) and type II (PKG-II), have been identified in mammals. The N-terminus of PKG-I is encoded by two alternatively spliced exons that specify for the PKG-Iα and PKG-Iβ isoforms. PKG-Iβ is activated at ~10-fold higher cGMP concentrations than PKG-Iα. The PKG-I and PKG-II are homodimers of two identical subunits (~75 kDa and ~85 kDa, respectively) and share common structural features.

Each subunit is composed of three functional domains:

  • (1) an N-terminal domain that mediates homodimerization, suppression of the kinase activity in the absence of cGMP, and interactions with other proteins including protein substrates
  • (2) a regulatory domain that contains two non-identical cGMP-binding sites
  • (3) a kinase domain that catalyzes the phosphate transfer from ATP to the hydroxyl group of a serine/threonine side chain of the target protein

Binding of cGMP to the regulatory domain induces a conformational change which stops the inhibition of the catalytic core by the N-terminus and allows the phosphorylation of substrate proteins. Whereas PKG-I is predominantly localized in the cytoplasm, PKG-II is anchored to the plasma membrane by N-terminal myristoylation.

Tissue distribution[edit | edit source]

In general, PKG-I and PKG-II are expressed in different cell types.

Specifically, in smooth muscle tissue, PKG promotes the opening of calcium-activated potassium channels, leading to cell hyperpolarization and relaxation, and blocks agonist activity of phospholipase C, reducing liberation of stored calcium ions by inositol triphosphate.

Role in cancer[edit | edit source]

Cancerous colon cells stop producing PKG, which apparently limits beta-catenin thus allowing the VEGF enzyme to solicit angiogenesis.[1]

See also[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Kwon IK, Schoenlein PV, Delk J, Liu K, Thangaraju M, Dulin NO, Ganapathy V, Berger FG, Browning DD (April 2008). Expression of cyclic guanosine monophosphate-dependent protein kinase in metastatic colon carcinoma cells blocks tumor angiogenesis. Cancer 112 (7): 1462–70.

External links[edit | edit source]


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