Protein phosphatase PPM1B inhibits DYRK1A kinase through dephosphorylation of pS258 and reduces toxic tau aggregation

Ye Hyung Lee, Eunju Im, Minju Hyun, Joongkyu Park, Kwang Chul Chung

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6 Citations (Scopus)


Down syndrome (DS) is mainly caused by an extra copy of chromosome 21 (trisomy 21), and patients display a variety of developmental symptoms, including characteristic facial features, physical growth delay, intellectual disability, and neurodegeneration (i.e., Alzheimer's disease; AD). One of the pathological hallmarks of AD is insoluble deposits of neurofibrillary tangles (NFTs) that consist of hyperphosphorylated tau. The human DYRK1A gene is mapped to chromosome 21, and the protein is associated with the formation of inclusion bodies in AD. For example, DYRK1A directly phosphorylates multiple serine and threonine residues of tau, including Thr212. However, the mechanism underpinning DYRK1A involvement in Trisomy 21-related pathological tau aggregation remains unknown. Here, we explored a novel regulatory mechanism of DYRK1A and subsequent tau pathology through a phosphatase. Using LC-MS/MS technology, we analyzed multiple DYRK1A-binding proteins, including PPM1B, a member of the PP2C family of Ser/Thr protein phosphatases, in HEK293 cells. We found that PPM1B dephosphorylates DYRK1A at Ser258, contributing to the inhibition of DYRK1A activity. Moreover, PPM1B-mediated dephosphorylation of DYRK1A reduced tau phosphorylation at Thr212, leading to inhibition of toxic tau oligomerization and aggregation. In conclusion, our study demonstrates that DYRK1A autophosphorylates Ser258, the dephosphorylation target of PPM1B, and PPM1B negatively regulates DYRK1A activity. This finding also suggests that PPM1B reduces the toxic formation of phospho-tau protein via DYRK1A modulation, possibly providing a novel cellular protective mechanism to regulate toxic tau-mediated neuropathology in AD of DS.

Original languageEnglish
Article number100245
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Publication statusPublished - 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Funding and additional information—This work was supported by the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) grant funded by the Korean government (2018R1A2B2003955 to K. C. C.). This work was also supported in part by Brain Korea 21(BK21) PLUS program, and Y. H. Lee is a fellowship awardee by BK21 PLUS program.

Publisher Copyright:

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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