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Proline substitutions and threonine pseudophosphorylation of the SH3 ligand of 18.5-kDa myelin basic protein decrease its affinity for the Fyn-SH3 domain and alter process development and protein localization in oligodendrocytes

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Abstract

The developmentally regulated myelin basic proteins (MBPs), which arise from the golli (gene of oligodendrocyte lineage) complex, are highly positively charged, intrinsically disordered, multifunctional proteins having several alternatively spliced isoforms and posttranslational modifications, and they play key roles in myelin compaction. The classic 18.5-kDa MBP isoform has a proline-rich region comprising amino acids 92–99 (murine sequence –T92PRTPPPS99–) that contains a minimal SH3 ligand domain. We have previously shown that 18.5-kDa MBP binds to several SH3 domains, including that of Fyn, a member of the Src family of tyrosine kinases involved in a number of signaling pathways during CNS development. To determine the physiological role of this binding as well as the role of phosphorylation of Thr92 and Thr95, in the current study we have produced several MBP variants specifically targeting phosphorylation sites and key structural regions of MBP's SH3 ligand domain. Using isothermal titration calorimetry, we have demonstrated that, compared with the wild-type protein, these variants have lower affinity for the SH3 domain of Fyn. Moreover, overexpression of N-terminal-tagged GFP versions in immortalized oligodendroglial N19 and N20.1 cell cultures results in aberrant elongation of membrane processes and increased branching complexity and inhibits the ability of MBP to decrease Ca2+ influx. Phosphorylation of Thr92 can also cause MBP to traffic to the nucleus, where it may participate in additional protein–protein interactions. Coexpression of MBP with a constitutively active form of Fyn kinase resulted in membrane process elaboration, a phenomenon that was abolished by point amino acid substitutions in MBP's SH3 ligand domain. These results suggest that MBP's SH3 ligand domain plays a key role in intracellular protein interactions in vivo and may be required for proper membrane elaboration of developing oligodendrocytes and, further, that phosphorylation of Thr92 and Thr95 can regulate this function. © 2011 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

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