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J Cell Sci. 1994 Jan;107 ( Pt 1):241-52.

Differential induction of 'metabolic genes' after mitogen stimulation and during normal cell cycle progression.

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  • 1Institut für Molekularbiologie und Tumorforschung (IMT), Philipps-Universität Marburg, Germany.


Mitogenic stimulation of quiescent cells not only triggers the cell division cycle but also induces an increase in cell volume, associated with an activation of cellular metabolism. It is therefore likely that genes encoding enzymes and other proteins involved in energy metabolism and biosynthetic pathways represent a major class of mitogen-induced genes. In the present study, we investigated in the non-established human fibroblast line WI-38 the induction by mitogens of 17 genes whose products play a role in different metabolic processes. We show that these genes fall into 4 different categories, i.e. non-induced genes, immediate early (IE) primary genes, delayed early (DE) secondary genes and late genes reaching peak levels in S-phase. In addition, we have analysed the regulation of these genes during normal cell cycle progression, using HL-60 cells separated by counterflow elutriation. A clear cell cycle regulation was seen with those genes that are induced in S-phase, i.e. thymidine kinase, thymidylate synthase and dihydrofolate reductase. In addition, two DE genes showed a cell cycle dependent expression. Ornithine decarboxylase mRNA increased around mid-G1, reaching maximum levels in S/G2, while hexokinase mRNA expression was highest in early G1. In contrast, the expression of other DE and IE genes did not fluctuate during the cell cycle, a result that was confirmed with elutriated WI-38 and serum-stimulated HL-60 cells. These observations suggest that G0-->S and G1-->S transition are distinct processes, exhibiting characteristic programmes of gene regulation, and merging around S-phase entry.

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