Rat G-substrate cDNA was isolated from a cerebellar library and characterized. The deduced amino acid sequence of rat G-substrate contained two putative phosphorylation sites for PKG at Thr72 and Thr123; the amino acid sequences (KPRRKDT(p)PA) around these sites are conserved in human, mouse and rabbit. G-substrate phosphorylated by PKG inhibited the catalytic subunits of both protein phosphatase-1 (IC(50) 14.1 nM) and -2A (IC(50) 5.9 nM). Mutation of Thr123 (site 2) to Ala significantly reduced the inhibition of both PP-1 and PP-2A, while mutation of Thr72 (site 1) to Ala had little effect on inhibitory activity. In situ hybridization analysis revealed that G-substrate mRNA was localized exclusively in cerebellar Purkinje cells. Immunoperoxidase staining showed that in Purkinje cells, G-substrate was present in somata, dendrites and axons. In rat cerebellar slices, activation of PKG with a nitric oxide (NO) donor, NOR3, or 8-Br-cGMP, increased phosphorylation of G-substrate, as demonstrated with a phosphorylation-specific antibody. These results characterize further the inhibition of PP-1 and PP-2A by phospho-G-substrate, and demonstrate its physiological phosphorylation in rat Purkinje cells.