UMMS Affiliation

Department of Physiology

Publication Date


Document Type



Amino Acid Sequence; Animals; Molecular Sequence Data; Muscle Proteins; Muscle, Smooth; Myosin-Light-Chain Phosphatase; Myosins; Phosphoprotein Phosphatases; Phosphoproteins; Phosphorylation; Protein Binding; Rabbits; Recombinant Proteins




The inhibition of myosin light chain phosphatase (MLCP) enhances smooth muscle contraction at a constant [Ca2+]. There are two components, myosin-binding subunit of MLCP (MBS) and CPI17, thought to be responsible for the inhibition of MLCP by external stimuli. The phosphorylation of MBS at Thr-641 and of CPI17 at Thr-38 inhibits the MLCP activity in vitro. Here we determined the changes in the phosphorylation of MBS and CPI17 after agonist stimulation in intact as well as permeabilized smooth muscle strips using phosphorylation-site-specific antibodies as probes. The CPI17 phosphorylation transiently increased after agonist stimulation in both alpha-toxin skinned and intact fibres. The time course of the increase in CPI17 phosphorylation after stimulation correlated with the increase in myosin regulatory light chain (MLC) phosphorylation. The increase in CPI17 phosphorylation was significantly diminished by Y27632, a Rho kinase inhibitor, and GF109203x, a protein kinase C inhibitor, suggesting that both the protein kinase C and Rho kinase pathways influence the change in CPI17 phosphorylation. On the other hand, a significant level of MBS phosphorylation at Thr-641, an inhibitory site, was observed in the resting state for both skinned and intact fibres and the agonist stimulation did not significantly alter the MBS phosphorylation level at Thr-641. While the removal of the agonist markedly decreased MLC phosphorylation and induced relaxation, the phosphorylation of MBS was unchanged, while CPI17 phosphorylation markedly diminished. These results strongly suggest that the phosphorylation of CPI17 plays a more significant role in the agonist-induced increase in myosin phosphorylation and contraction of smooth muscle than MBS phosphorylation in the Ca2+-independent activation mechanism of smooth muscle contraction.

DOI of Published Version



Biochem J. 2003 Jan 1;369(Pt 1):117-28. Link to article on publisher's site

Journal/Book/Conference Title

The Biochemical journal

Related Resources

Link to article in PubMed

PubMed ID


Included in

Physiology Commons



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.