Protein phosphatase 2A (PP2A) is a family of multifunctional serine/threonine phosphatases consisting of a catalytic C, a structural A, and a regulatory B subunit. The substrate and therefore the functional specificity of PP2A are determined by the assembly of the enzyme complex with the appropriate regulatory B subunit families, namely B55, B56, PR72 or PR93/PR110. It has been suggested that additional levels of regulating PP2A function may result from the phosphorylation of B56 isoforms. In this study, we identified a novel phosphorylation site at Ser41 of B56α. This phosphoamino acid residue was efficiently phosphorylated in vitro by PKCα. We detected a 7-fold higher phosphorylation of B56α in failing human hearts compared to non-failing hearts. Purified PP2A dimeric holoenzyme (subunits C and A) was able to dephosphorylate PKCα-phosphorylated B56α. The potency of B56α for PP2A inhibition was markedly increased by PKCα phosphorylation. PP2A activity was also reduced in HEK293 cells transfected with a B56α mutant, where serine-41 was replaced by aspartic acid, which mimics phosphorylation. More evidence for a functional role of PKCα-dependent phosphorylation of B56α was derived from Fluo-4 fluorescence measurements in phenylephrine-stimulated Flp293 cells. The ER Ca2+ release was increased by 23% by expression of the pseudophosphorylated form compared to wild-type B56α. Taken together, our results suggest that PKCα can modify PP2A activity by phosphorylation of B56α at Ser41. This interplay between PKCα and PP2A represents a new mechanism to regulate important cellular functions like cellular Ca2+ homeostasis.
Journal of Biological Chemistry, 2014, Vol 289, p. 163-176