The protein kinase CK2 holoenzyme is composed of two regulatory beta subunits and two catalytic alpha or alpha' subunits. Although experimental evidence for involvement of the enzyme in the regulation of cell proliferation is accumulating, the exact mechanism of its action is still unclear. The subcellular localization of the enzyme may be a key to its function. We have recently shown that the CK2 holoenzyme is tightly associated with the Golgi complex and the endoplasmic reticulum. Centrosomes, which organize spindle formation during the cell cycle and microtubule cytoskeleton formation and, thereby, the location and orientation of different organelles in the cell, are in close vicinity to the Golgi complex. Because several kinases and phosphatases have been described to regulate the functions of the centrosome, we analysed the association of CK2 with these organelles. Using biochemical cell fractionation and coimmunoprecipitation, we never found the holoenzyme but only the catalytic alpha subunits associated with the centrosome. These data were confirmed by immunoelectron microscopy. Thus, the present data point to a particular role of the catalytic alpha and alpha' subunit of protein kinase CK2, which may be different from their roles in the holoenzyme.
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