Interestingly, the nuclear HDAC5 puncta colocalized with endogenous MEF2 proteins (see Figure S1A available
online), suggesting that the nuclear HDAC5 is associated with transcriptional complexes on genomic DNA and that previously noted cAMP-dependent suppression of MEF2 activity is likely mediated by HDAC5 (Belfield et al., 2006 and Pulipparacharuvil Ponatinib in vitro et al., 2008). We speculated that cAMP signaling might regulate nuclear accumulation by regulating HDAC5 phosphorylation. By in silico analysis of the HDAC5 primary amino acid sequence, we identified a highly conserved serine (S279) that was a candidate substrate for protein kinase A (PKA) or cyclin-dependent kinase 5 (Cdk5), both of which are implicated in drug addiction-related behavioral adaptations (Benavides et al., 2007, Bibb et al., 2001, Pulipparacharuvil et al., 2008 and Self et al., 1998). Because S279 resides within the HDAC5 NLS, which is characterized by a high density of basic residues (Figure 1C, noted by asterisks), we speculated that phosphorylation at this site may modulate nucleocytoplasmic localization of HDAC5. The HDAC5 S279 site (and surrounding residues) was highly conserved from fish to humans (Figure 1C)
and in both HDAC4 and HDAC9. Tandem mass spectrometry analysis of flag-epitope tagged HDAC5 in cultured cells revealed a singly phosphorylated peptide (SSPLLR: 278–283 LY2109761 manufacturer amino acids) (Figure S1B). Therefore, we generated a phosphorylation site-specific antibody against HDAC5 S279 to study its regulation by cAMP signaling. The P-S279 peptide antibody recognizes wild-type (WT) HDAC5, but not a mutant form that cannot be phosphorylated at this site (HDAC5 S279A) (Figure 1D). It also recognizes endogenous P-HDAC5 after immunoprecipitation (IP) of total HDAC5 from cultured striatal else neurons or adult striatal tissues, but not from anti-HDAC5 IPs using HDAC5 knockout (KO) mouse lysates (Figure S1C) (Chang et al., 2004), indicating that endogenous HDAC5 is basally phosphorylated at S279 in striatum in vitro and in vivo.
To determine whether Cdk5 or PKA can phosphorylate HDAC5 S279, we incubated full-length, dephosphorylated HDAC5 with recombinant Cdk5/p25 or PKA in vitro and found that either kinase can phosphorylate S279 in vitro (Figures S2A and S2B). However, when we incubated striatal neurons with specific kinase inhibitors for either Cdk5, PKA or p38 MapK (all potential kinases predicted for S279), we observed dramatically reduced P-S279 levels in the presence of Cdk5 inhibitors (Figures 2A and S2C) but observed no change in P-S279 in the presence of PKA or p38 MapK inhibitors (Figure S2C). Together, these findings indicate that whereas PKA is able to phosphorylate HDAC5 in vitro, it is not required for endogenous HDAC5 P-S279 in striatal neurons.