N-myristoylated c-Abl tyrosine kinase localizes to the endoplasmic reticulum upon binding to an allosteric inhibitor

Yongmun Choi, Markus A. Seeliger, Shoghag B. Panjarian, Hakjoong Kim, Xianming Deng, Taebo Sim, Brian Couch, Anthony J. Koleske, Thomas E. Smithgall, Nathanael S. Gray

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45 Citations (Scopus)


Allosteric kinase inhibitors hold promise for revealing unique features of kinases that may not be apparent using conventional ATP-competitive inhibitors. Here we explore the activity of a previously reported allosteric inhibitor of BCR-Abl kinase, GNF-2, against two cellular isoforms of Abl tyrosine kinase: one that carries a myristate in the N terminus and the other that is deficient in N-myristoylation. Our results show that GNF-2 inhibits the kinase activity of non-myristoylated c-Abl more potently than that of myristoylated c-Abl by binding to the myristate-binding pocket in the C-lobe of the kinase domain. Unexpectedly, indirect immunofluorescence reveals a translocation of myristoylated c-Abl to the endoplasmic reticulum in GNF-2-treated cells, whereas GNF-2 has no detectable effect on the localization of non-myristoylated c-Abl. These results indicate that GNF-2 competes with the NH2-terminal myristate for binding to the c-Abl kinase myristate-binding pocket and that the exposed myristoyl group accounts for the localization to the endoplasmic reticulum. We also demonstrate that GNF-2 can inhibit enzymatic and cellular kinase activity of Arg, a kinase highly homologous to c-Abl, which is also likely to be regulated through intramolecular binding of an NH2-terminal myristate lipid. These results suggest that non-ATP-competitive inhibitors, such as GNF-2, can serve as chemical tools that can discriminate between c-Abl isoform-specific behaviors.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)29005-29014
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number42
Publication statusPublished - 2009 Oct 16

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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