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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1996 May 14;93(10):4617-22.

The platelet-derived growth factor alpha-receptor is encoded by a growth-arrest-specific (gas) gene.

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  • 1Institute of Molecular Biology, Academia Sinica, Nankang Taipei, Taiwan, Republic of China.


Using the Escherichia coli lacZ gene to identify chromosomal loci that are transcriptionally active during growth arrest of NIH 3T3 fibroblasts, we found that an mRNA expressed preferentially in serum-deprived cells specifies the previously characterized alpha-receptor (alphaR) for platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF), which mediates mitogenic responsiveness to all PDGF isoforms. Both PDGFalphaR mRNA, which was shown to include a 111-nt segment encoded by a DNA region thought to contain only intron sequences, and PDGFalphaR protein accumulated in serum-starved cells and decreased as cells resumed cycling. Elevated PDGFalphaR gene expression during serum starvation was not observed in cells that had been transformed with oncogenes erbB2, src, or raf, which prevent starvation-induced growth arrest. Our results support the view that products of certain genes expressed during growth arrest function to promote, rather than restrict, cell cycling. We suggest that accumulation of the PDGFalphaR gene product may facilitate the exiting of cells from growth arrest upon mitogenic stimulation by PDGF, leading to the state of "competence" required for cell cycling.

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