Link to Pubmed [PMID] – 11717309
J. Biol. Chem. 2002 Feb;277(8):6399-405
Bad is a pro-apoptotic member of the Bcl-2 family of proteins that is thought to exert a death-promoting effect by heterodimerization with Bcl-X(L), nullifying its anti-apoptotic activity. Growth factors may promote cell survival at least partially through phosphorylation of Bad at one or more of Ser-112, -136, or -155. Our previous work showed that Bad is also phosphorylated in response to cytokines at another site, which we now identify as Ser-170. The functional role of this novel phosphorylation site was assessed by site-directed mutagenesis and analysis of the pro-apoptotic function of Bad in transiently transfected HEK293 and COS-7 cells or by stable expression in the cytokine-dependent cell line, MC/9. In general, mutation of Ser-170 to Ala results in a protein with increased ability to induce apoptosis, similar to the S112A mutant. Mutation of Ser-170 to Asp, mimicking a constitutively phosphorylated site, results in a protein that is virtually unable to induce apoptosis. Similarly, the S112A/S170D double mutant does not cause apoptosis in HEK293 and MC/9 cell lines. These data strongly suggest that phosphorylation of Bad at Ser-170 is a critical event in blocking the pro-apoptotic activity of Bad.