Taking flight: An educational primer for use with "A novel mechanism for activation of myosin regulatory light chain by protein kinase C-delta in Drosophila"

Scott J. Nowak, Kennesaw State University
Krista C. Dobi, Baruch College


Muscles are required for animal movement, feeding, heartbeat, and reproduction. Disruption of muscle function can lead to mobility impairments and diseases like muscular dystrophy and cardiac myopathy; therefore, research in this area has significant implications for public health. Recent work by Vaziri and colleagues has taken genetic, cell biological, and biochemical approaches to identify Protein kinase C-d (Pkcd) as a novel regulator of the essential myosin light chain 2 (MLC2) by phosphorylation. The authors determine which residues of MLC2 are modified by Pkcd and show that phosphorylation by Pkcd is required for proper sarcomere assembly and function. This study underscores the importance of Drosophila melanogaster as a model system for muscle function and highlights how protein phosphorylation is a vital part of post-translational gene regulation.