The dephosphorylation-induced interaction of neurofilaments (NFs) with microtubules (MTs) was investigated by using several phosphatases. Escherichia coli alkaline and wheat germ acid phosphatases increased the electrophoretic mobility of NF-H and NF-M by dephosphorylation, and induced the binding of NF-H to MTs. The binding of NFs to MTs was observed only after the electrophoretic mobility of NF-H approached the exhaustively dephosphorylated level when alkaline phosphatase was used. The number of phosphate remaining when NF-H began to bind to MTs was estimated by measuring phosphate bound to NF-H. NF-H did not bind to MTs even when about 40 phosphates from the total of 51 had been removed by alkaline phosphatase. The removal of 6 further phosphates finally resulted in the association of NF-H with MTs. A similar finding, that the restricted phosphorylation sites in the NF-H tail domain, but not the total amount of phosphates, were important for binding to MTs, was also obtained with acid phosphatase. In contrast to alkaline and acid phosphatases, four classes of protein phosphatases (protein phosphatases 1, 2 A, 2 B, and 2 C) were ineffective for shifting the electrophoretic mobility of NF proteins and for inducing the association of NFs to MTs.
The Japanese Biochemical Society