The lysine-specific demethylase 1 is a novel substrate of protein kinase CK2

Roberto Costa, Giorgio Arrigoni, Giorgio Cozza, Graziano Lolli, Roberto Battistutta, Juan Carlos Izpisua Belmonte, Lorenzo A. Pinna, Stefania Sarno*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Protein kinase CK2 is a pleiotropic serine/threonine kinase responsible for the generation of a substantial proportion of the human phosphoproteome. CK2 is generally found as a tetramer with two catalytic, α and α′ and two non catalytic β subunits. CK2α C-terminal tail phosphorylation is regulated during the mitotic events and the absence of these phosphosites in α′ suggests an isoform specialization. We used a proteomic approach to identify proteins specifically phosphorylated by a CK2α phosphomimetic mutant, CK2αT344ET360ES362ES370E (CK2α4E), in human neuroblastoma SKNBE cellular extract. One of these proteins is lysine-specific demethylase 1 (LSD1 or KDM1A), an important player of the epigenetic machinery. LSD1 is a FAD-dependent amine oxidase and promotes demethylation of lysine 4 and lysine 9 of mono- and di-methylated histone H3. We found that LSD1 is a new substrate and an interacting partner of protein kinase CK2. Three CK2 phosphosites, (Ser131, Ser137 and Ser166) in the N-terminal region of LSD1 have been identified. This domain is found in all chordates but not in more ancient organisms and it is not essential for LSD1 catalytic event while it could modulate the interaction with CK2 and with other partners in gene repressing and activating complexes. Our data support the view that the phosphorylation of the N-terminal domain by CK2 may represent a mechanism for regulating histone methylation, disclosing a new role for protein kinase CK2 in epigenetics.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)722-729
Number of pages8
JournalBiochimica et Biophysica Acta - Proteins and Proteomics
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • CK2
  • Demethylation
  • Epigenetics
  • LSD1
  • Phosphorylation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Biophysics
  • Biochemistry


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