CK2 as anti-stress factor

Masahiko Watabe, Toshio Nakaki
Communicative & Integrative Biology 2012 May 1, 5 (3): 278-80
Misfolded proteins are prone to form aggregates, which interfere with normal cellular functions. In general, the ubiquitin-proteasome system degrades such misfolded proteins to avoid aggregation. If this system becomes impaired or overloaded, an inclusion-body-like organelle, aggresome will operate. Misfolded protein aggregates are transported to aggresome with a deacetylase HDAC6 and dynein motors along the microtubule network, and are then removed by autophagic degradation. Although it is well known that the aggresome has evolved to cope with an excess of protein aggregates, the mechanisms underlying its formation remain unclear. It is now established that the protein kinase CK2 is a crucial factor in aggresome assembly and clearance. In particular, this kinase phosphorylates HDAC6 on serine 458 in response to cellular stress which is caused by misfolded proteins. The resultant increase in HDAC6 deacetylase activity is crucial for both the recruitment of misfolded proteins to the aggresome and its clearance. Interestingly, serine 458 is conserved only in higher primates such as the humans and chimpanzee, but not in the mouse, rat, dog, bovine or rhesus macaque. This regulatory mechanism by phosphorylation of the serine residue may have evolutional significance.

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