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J Biol Chem. 1994 Mar 25;269(12):8627-30.

Nucleoside diphosphate kinase enzyme activity of NM23-H2/PuF is not required for its DNA binding and in vitro transcriptional functions.

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  • 1Department of Molecular Biology, Princeton University, New Jersey 08540-1014.


nm23 genes encode proteins that participate in tumor metastasis regulation and in various fundamental cellular processes, although the mechanisms remain undefined. All Nm23 proteins contain nucleoside diphosphate kinase (NDPK) activity whose significance to these regulatory effects is not yet evident. The protein product of the human nm23-H2 gene functions in vitro both as a nucleoside diphosphate kinase enzyme (NDPK-B; Gilles, A.-M., Presecan, E., Vonica, A. and Lascu, I. (1991) J. Biol. Chem. 266, 8784-8789) and as a transcription factor (PuF; Postel, E. H., Berberich, S. J., Flint, S. J. and Ferrone, C. A. (1993) Science 261, 478-480). To understand the significance of these two biochemical activities to NM23-H2 function, we have investigated the relationship between the DNA binding and transcriptional activity of NM23-H2 and its NDPK function. Using site-directed mutagenesis of the cDNA encoding NM23-H2, we have created a mutant substituting for the amino acid histidine 118, the presumed site of phosphorylation in the formation of the phosphoenzyme intermediate, the nonphosphorylatable amino acid phenylalanine. The H118F mutant protein is shown to be catalytically inactive as measured both in a radioisotopic assay that detects formation of the phosphorylated enzyme intermediate and in a coupled enzyme assay that indicates nucleoside diphosphate formation. These results confirm that histidine 118 is the critical residue for NDPK-B activity. In addition, the H118F mutant protein lacking enzymatic activity displayed normal DNA binding affinity for the c-myc promoter in electrophoretic mobility shift assays, and retained full transcriptional activity using the c-myc gene in vitro. These results indicate a lack of correlation between nucleoside diphosphate kinase activity of nm23-H2 on the one hand, and its DNA binding and transcriptional activity on the other, suggesting that the nm23-H2 gene encodes a bifunctional protein molecule.

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