Previous work from our laboratory has demonstrated that neurohumoral stimulation of the exocrine pancreas is associated with the phosphorylation of the Mr 29,000 ribosomal protein S6. In a cell-free system using pancreatic postmicrosomal supernatant as the kinase donor, we found that the following co-factors stimulate the phosphorylation of the Mr 29,000 ribosomal protein: calcium with calmodulin, calcium with phosphatidyl serine, and cAMP. These findings suggest that the pancreas contains a calcium-calmodulin-dependent protein kinase (CaM-PK) that can phosphorylate the Mr 29,000 ribosomal protein. A CaM-PK activity was partially purified sequentially by ion exchange, gel filtration, and calmodulin-affinity chromatography. Phosphorylation of the Mr 29,000 ribosomal protein by the partially purified CaM-PK was dependent on the presence of both calcium and calmodulin and not on the other co-factors. The CaM-PK fraction contained a phosphoprotein of Mr 51,000 whose phosphorylation was also dependent on calcium and calmodulin. When 125I-calmodulin-binding proteins from the CaM-PK fraction were identified using electrophoretic transfers of SDS-polyacrylamide gels, a single Mr 51,000 protein was labeled. The preparation enriched in CaM-PK activity contained an Mr 51,000 protein that underwent phosphorylation in a calcium-calmodulin-dependent manner and an Mr 51,000 calmodulin-binding protein. It is therefore possible that the CaM-PK may comprise a calmodulin-binding phosphoprotein component of Mr 51,000.

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