BioScience Trends. 2017;11(2):179-192. (DOI: 10.5582/bst.2017.01009)

The evolutionary appearance of signaling motifs in PGRMC1.

Cahill MA


A complex PGRMC1-centred regulatory system controls multiple cell functions. Although PGRMC1 is phosphorylated at several positions, we do not understand the mechanisms regulating its function. PGRMC1 is the archetypal member of the membrane associated progesterone receptor (MAPR) family. Phylogentic comparison of MAPR proteins suggests that the ancestral metazoan "PGRMC-like" MAPR gene resembled PGRMC1/PGRMC2, containing the equivalents of PGRMC1 Y139 and Y180 SH2 target motifs. It later acquired a CK2 site with phosphoacceptor at S181. Separate PGRMC1 and PGRMC2 genes with this "PGRMC-like" structure diverged after the separation of vertebrates from protochordates. Terrestrial tetrapods possess a novel proline-rich PGRMC1 SH3 target motif centred on P64 which in mammals is augmented by a phosphoacceptor at PGRMC1 S54, and in primates by an additional S57 CK2 site. All of these phosphoacceptors are phosphorylated in vivo. This study suggests that an increasingly sophisticated system of PGRMC1-modulated multicellular functional regulation has characterised animal evolution since Precambrian times.

KEYWORDS: Phosphorylation, evolution, steroid signalling, kinases, metazoan

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