Characterization of Smoothened Phosphorylation and Activation

Jianhang Jia, Yuhong Han, Yong Suk Cho, Jin Jiang

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


The GPCR-family protein Smoothened (Smo) is an obligatory signal transducer of the Hedgehog (Hh) signaling pathway. Binding of Hh to its receptor Patched (Ptc) alleviates Ptc-mediated inhibition of Smo, allowing Smo to activate the Cubitus interruptus (Ci)/Gli family of zinc finger transcription factors. The activation of Smo is an early and crucial event in Hh signal transduction. Studies have shown that Hh induces cell surface/ciliary accumulation and phosphorylation of Smo by multiple kinases, including protein kinase A (PKA), casein kinase 1 (CK1), casein kinase 2 (CK2), G protein-coupled receptor kinase 2 (Gprk2/GRK2), and atypical PKC (aPKC). Here, we describe the assays used to examine the phosphorylation and activity of Smo, including in vitro kinase assay, phospho-specific antibodies, luciferase reporter assay, cell surface accumulation, and ciliary localization assays. These assays provide powerful tools to study Smo phosphorylation and activation, leading to mechanistic insight into Smo regulation.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationMethods in Molecular Biology
Number of pages17
StatePublished - 2022

Publication series

NameMethods in Molecular Biology
ISSN (Print)1064-3745
ISSN (Electronic)1940-6029

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022, The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature.


  • CK1
  • CK2
  • GRK2
  • Hedgehog
  • PKA
  • Phosphorylation
  • Primary cilium
  • Smoothened
  • aPKC

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics


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