Role of Fam20A discovered : A pseudokinase forming a heterotetramer with Fam20C and boosting the phosphorylation of enamel proteins.

Jixin Cui, "Oh My God!!"

Jixin Cui, "Oh My God!!"

Fam20C is a secretory pathway protein kinase phosphorylating majority of the secreted phosphoproteome in plasma, serum, milk and csf. However, the mechanism of Fam20C regulation was unknown till date. Jixin Cui, a postdoc in the lab has identified Fam20A, a paralog of Fam20C, as a pseudokinase that forms a functional complex with Fam20C and allosterically enhances Fam20C activity. The paper provides the first insight into the regulation of secretory pathway phosphorylation and sheds light on the role of Fam20A and Fam20C in enamel formation. The paper got accepted in eLife. Jack was especially excited with Jixin’s finding and said that the paper was an important addition to our knowledge of the atypical secreted kinase family. Jixin was treated to some exotic sparkling wine and he was found in a rather jovial mood. Initially upon being asked how he felt with his publication, emotional Jixin was at a loss of words and only managed to say ‘Oh My God!!’. Clearly he was happy. After his emotions had settled a bit Jixin excitedly remarked , “I’m glad we eventually figured out the biochemical function of Fam20A.  It’s not easy especially when you didn’t know it’s an inactive enzyme at the beginning.  I’d like to keep up the good work and figure out more new activities and new biologies.” With hard working days and long nights ahead of him, we wish Jixin Cui all the best for his next research ventures.