Sci Rep 2016 Dec 1;6:38140. Epub 2016 Dec 1.
Centro de Investigaciones en Química Biológica de Córdoba, CIQUIBIC-CONICET, and Departamento de Química Biológica, Facultad de Ciencias Químicas, Universidad Nacional de Córdoba, Ciudad Universitaria, X5000HUA, Córdoba, Argentina.
α-Tubulin C-terminus undergoes post-translational, cyclic tyrosination/detyrosination, and L-Phenylalanine (Phe) can be incorporated in place of tyrosine. Using cultured mouse brain-derived cells and an antibody specific to Phe-tubulin, we showed that: (i) Phe incorporation into tubulin is reversible; (ii) such incorporation is not due to de novo synthesis; (iii) the proportion of modified tubulin is significant; (iv) Phe incorporation reduces cell proliferation without affecting cell viability; (v) the rate of neurite retraction declines as level of C-terminal Phe incorporation increases; (vi) this inhibitory effect of Phe on neurite retraction is blocked by the co-presence of tyrosine; (vii) microtubule dynamics is reduced when Phe-tubulin level in cells is high as a result of exogenous Phe addition and returns to normal values when Phe is removed; moreover, microtubule dynamics is also reduced when Phe-tubulin is expressed (plasmid transfection). It is known that Phe levels are greatly elevated in blood of phenylketonuria (PKU) patients. Read More