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Biochemistry. 2000 Dec 26;39(51):16016-25.

In vivo regulation of the dsRNA-dependent protein kinase PKR by the cellular glycoprotein p67.

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Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology, Centro Nacional de Biotecnología, Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas, Campus Universidad Autónoma, 28049 Madrid, Spain.


Regulation of eIF2alpha phosphorylation is critical to the maintenance of cellular homeostasis, and eIF2alpha kinases are subject to complex and multidimensional controls. A cellular 67 kDa glycoprotein (p67) has been proposed to have an important role in regulating the activity of eIF2alpha kinases including the interferon-induced, dsRNA-stimulated protein kinase PKR. To dissect p67-PKR interactions and evaluate their significance in vivo, we have used a vaccinia virus (VV) expression system that successfully mimics PKR control pathways. Recombinant VV were constructed that constitutively express p67 and inducibly express PKR in BSC-40 cells. Stable expression of p67 reduced the PKR-mediated antiviral response and apoptosis. These effects correlated with decreased eIF2alpha phosphorylation, with rescue of PKR-mediated inhibition of protein synthesis, and with partial inhibition of PKR-triggered activation of NF-kappaB. The direct interaction between PKR and p67 was suggested by in vivo and in vitro analyses. These data demonstrate that in vivo p67 is an important modulator of PKR-mediated signal transduction pathways and may provide a useful tool to dissect the relative contributions of PKR to cell growth and stress response.

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