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Virology. 1992 May;188(1):33-46.

Mechanism of interferon action: cDNA structure, expression, and regulation of the interferon-induced, RNA-dependent P1/eIF-2 alpha protein kinase from human cells.

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Department of Biological Sciences, University of California, Santa Barbara 93106.


A molecular cDNA clone (P1 KIN) was isolated that encodes the human RNA-dependent P1/eIF-2 alpha protein kinase. The complete cDNA sequence of the P1 KIN cDNA was determined; the longest open reading frame (ORF) encoded a 551 amino acid protein with a deduced molecular weight of 62055 Da. Transcripts prepared from the P1 KIN cDNA by transcription in vitro with T7 RNA polymerase programmed the cell-free synthesis of a protein indistinguishable by immunoprecipitation and immunoblot gel analyses from the authentic 67-kDa P1 protein synthesized in human U cells treated with interferon (IFN). Furthermore, by use of a sensitive primer extension assay with T7 DNA polymerase, the major site of translation initiation within the deduced ORF of the P1 KIN cDNA was directly identified. Northern RNA gel-blot analysis revealed that the P1 KIN cDNA strongly hybridized to two IFN-induced mRNAs present in both human amnion U cells and HeLa cells; their sizes were 2.5 and 6 kb. Both transcripts were efficiently induced by IFN-alpha, but poorly by IFN-gamma. Polyclonal antibody was prepared against the product of the P1 KIN cDNA expressed in Escherichia coli. In Western blot analysis the antibody recognized a 67-kDa protein induced in human cells by IFN-alpha and, in addition, a 90-kDa protein whose level was not greatly altered by IFN treatment. The IFN-induced 67-kDa protein was found associated with the ribosomal salt-wash fraction of IFN-treated human cells, whereas the 90-kDa protein was predominantly in the S100 soluble fraction. The time course for the induction by IFN-alpha of RNA-dependent protein P1 kinase activity measured by immunoprecipitation was comparable to the time course for protein P1 induction measured by Western immunoblot analysis. The amino acid sequence of P1/eIF-2 alpha protein kinase deduced from the cDNA was 62% identical with the 518-residue murine TIK kinase and contained, within the carboxy-terminal half of the protein, the motifs commonly conserved among protein-serine/threonine kinases. The amino-terminal half of the P1 protein did not possess conserved kinase motifs, but did show extensive homology with vaccinia virus-predicted protein E3L.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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