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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1992 Aug 1;89(15):7282-6.

Activation of p70s6k is associated with phosphorylation of four clustered sites displaying Ser/Thr-Pro motifs.

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Friedrich Miescher Institute, Basel, Switzerland.


Partial amino acid sequences were obtained from 22 internal tryptic peptides of rat liver p70s6k (M(r) 70,000 ribosomal protein S6 kinase), 3 of which were found to contain phosphorylated residues. To determine whether these sites were associated with p70s6k activation, the kinase was labeled to high specific activity with 32P(i) in Swiss mouse 3T3 cells. By sequential cleavage with CNBr and endoproteinase Lys-C followed by two-dimensional tryptic peptide analysis, it could be shown that all of the sites were located in a small endoproteinase Lys-C peptide of M(r) 2400. Analysis of the p70s6k protein sequence revealed a single candidate that could represent this peptide. Three tryptic peptides derived from the endoproteinase Lys-C fragment were chosen by a newly described computer program as the most likely candidates to contain the in vivo sites of phosphorylation. Synthetic peptides based on these sequences were phosphorylated either chemically or enzymatically and found to comigrate by two-dimensional thin-layer electrophoresis/chromatography with the four major in vivo labeled tryptic phosphopeptides. Three of the phosphorylation sites in these peptides were equivalent to those sequenced in the rat liver p70s6k. In addition, all four sites display the motif Ser/Thr-Pro, typical of cell cycle-regulated sites, and are clustered in a putative autoinhibitory domain of the enzyme.

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