Phosphorylation of endothelin converting enzyme-1 isoforms: Relevance to subcellular localization

Farahdiba Jafri, Adviye Ergul

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Endothelin-converting enzyme (ECE)-1 is a metalloenzyme with four subisoforms, which differ only in their amino-terminal domain. ECE-1a and c are the most common isoforms and are found at the plasma membrane and in the Golgi complex, whereas ECE-1b displays lysosomal localization. We have recently shown that ECE-1a but not ECE-1b also colocalizes with nuclear membrane markers, and that maintenance of cells in high glucose (25 mM) promotes relocalization of ECE-1a from the membrane to the intracellular compartment. To investigate the mechanisms involved in this process, we conducted a search for potential phosphorylation sites, which yielded a different number of putative sites for protein kinase (PK)-C and PKA in the amino-terminal region. Stimulation of Chinese hamster ovary (CHO) cells expressing a green fluorescent protein (GFP)-tagged human ECE-1a or ECE-1b with 100 nM phorbol myristate acetate (PMA) resulted in phosphorylation of ECE-1a, as determined by immunoprecipitation with an antibody to GFP followed by immunoblotting with an antibody to phosphoserine. Stimulation of cells with PMA also promoted intracellular relocalization, as seen in cells grown under high-glucose conditions. Incubation of cells grown in 25 mM glucose with the PKC inhibitor, calphostin C (100 nM), partially prevented the relocalization of ECE-1a from the plasma membrane to intracellular compartments. Stimulation of cells with 100 nM forskolin caused phosphorylation of ECE-1b and not ECE-1a, which is consistent with the lack of a putative PKA site in the ECE-1a amino-terminal sequence. Although phosphorylation is not required for ECE-1 enzymatic activity, these results suggest that ECE-1 isoforms are phosphorylated and that phosphorylation might play an important role in the regulation of intracellular trafficking of ECE-1 subisoforms.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)713-717
Number of pages5
JournalExperimental Biology and Medicine
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 1 2006


  • ECE
  • Localization
  • Phosphorylation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)


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