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Mol Cell. 1999 Dec;4(6):1087-92.

Phosphorylation of rat serine 105 or mouse threonine 217 in C/EBP beta is required for hepatocyte proliferation induced by TGF alpha.

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  • 1Salk Institute for Biological Studies, La Jolla, California 92037, USA.


We report that TGF alpha induces activation of the p90 ribosomal S kinase (RSK), which results in the phosphorylation of rat C/EBP beta on Ser-105 and of mouse C/EBP beta on Thr-217 and concomitantly stimulates proliferation in differentiated hepatocytes. Moreover, C/EBP beta-/- mouse hepatocytes respond to TGF alpha when wild-type C/EBP beta is reexpressed, whereas they remain refractory to the growth effect of TGF alpha when expressing phosphoacceptor mutants rat C/EBP beta Ala-105 or mouse C/EBP beta Ala-217. In contrast, C/EBP beta-/- hepatocytes expressing the phosphorylation mimic mutants, rat C/EBP beta Asp-105 or mouse C/EBP beta Glu-217, exhibited marked proliferation in the absence of TGF alpha. Thus, a site-specific phosphorylation of the transcription factor C/EBP beta is critical for hepatocyte proliferation induced by TGF alpha and other stimuli that activate RSK.

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