Identification of an ectokinase activity in cerebellar granule primary neuronal cultures

Cinzia Volonté, Daniela Merlo, Maria Teresa Ciotti, Pietro Calissano

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Primary neuronal cultures from 8-day-old rat cerebellum were incubated in the presence of exogenously added 16 nM [γ-32P]ATP. Phosphorylation of a 45-kDa endogenous protein was detected within 1 min and increased linearly for ~20 min. Unlike what was seen with [γ-32P]ATP, in the presence of [32P]orthophosphate no visible phosphorylation of protein was detected after 10 min, but a different pattern of phosphorylation was obtained in 30 min. The phosphorylation of the 45-kDa protein was reduced by 80-90% in the presence of 1 μM unlabeled ATP, 5 U/ml of apyrase, or 0.01% trypsin but not 1 mM PO4 3-. Phosphorylation was inversely proportional to cell density and was unaffected by addition to the cells of 56 mM KCl or 100 μM glutamate for 3 min. The presence of exogenously added cellular protein extracts or pretreatment of the cells for up to 20 min in phosphorylation buffer also did not affect the observed phosphorylation of the 45-kDa protein. The phosphorylation was found to be insensitive to MgCl2 but inhibited in the presence of MnCl2 or NaF and in the absence of CaCl2. Analogues of ATP suppressed phosphorylation of the 45-kDa protein by 80-90%. A similar inhibition was obtained in the presence of ADP or AMP. In this study, we establish via several different means that the phosphorylation of the 45-kDa protein in primary neuronal granule cultures occurs extracellularly through an ectokinase activity, which is furthermore distinguishable from a series of other presently characterized ecto-protein enzymes and intracellular kinases.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2028-2037
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Neurochemistry
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Dec 1994


  • Cerebellar granule cultures
  • Ectokinase
  • Extracellular phosphorylation
  • Signal transduction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience


Dive into the research topics of 'Identification of an ectokinase activity in cerebellar granule primary neuronal cultures'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this