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Alternative translation initiation generates a functionally distinct isoform of the stress-activated kinase MK2

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Shaping of the proteome by alternative translation is an important mechanism of post-transcriptional gene regulation. It can lead to the expression of multiple protein isoforms originating from the same mRNA. Here we show that a novel, abundant and long isoform of the stress/p38MAPK-activated kinase MK2, a key regulator of transcription, migration, death signaling and post-transcriptional gene regulation, is constitutively translated from an alternative CUG translation initiation start site located in the 5′UTR of its mRNA. GC-rich sequences and putative G-quadruplex structures influence the usage of that codon as a translation initiation start site and the RNA helicase eIF4A1 is needed to ensure alternative isoform translation. We recapitulated the usage of the alternative start codon and determined the molecular properties of the short and a long MK2 isoforms. Phenotypically, only the short isoform phosphorylated Hsp27, supported migration and stress-induced immediate early gene (IEG) expression. Interaction profiling by quantitative mass-spectrometry revealed short isoform-specific binding partners that were associated with migration. In contrast, the long isoform contains additional putative phosphorylation sites in its unique N-terminus. In sum, our data reveal a longer and previously non-described isoform of MK2 with distinct physiological properties originating from alternative translation.
OriginalsprogEngelsk
TidsskriftbioRxiv
Antal sider46
DOI
StatusUdgivet - 2018

ID: 217344172