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Environ Health Perspect. 1991 Jun;93:73-7.

Genetic analysis of the K-rev-1 transformation-suppressor gene.

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Tsukuba Life Science Center, Institute of Physical and Chemical Research (RIKEN), Ibaraki, Japan.


Flat revertants with reduced malignancy in vivo can be isolated from Kirsten sarcoma virus-transformed NIH 3T3 cells (DT line) following transfection with a normal human fibroblast cDNA expression library. We have recovered from one such revertant a 1.8-kb cDNA clone, K-rev-1, that exhibits an activity of inducing flat revertants at certain frequencies (2-5% of total transfectants) when transfected into DT cells. The K-rev-1 cDNA has the capacity to encode a protein with a calculated molecular weight of 21,000, having strong structural similarity to ras proteins (approximately 50% homology), especially in their guanosine triphosphate/guanosine diphosphate-binding, effector-binding, and membrane-attachment domains. Toward understanding the mechanism of action of K-rev-1 protein, we constructed a series of point mutants of K-rev-1 cDNA and tested their biological activities. Substitutions of the amino acid residues in the putative guanine nucleotide-binding regions (Asp17 and Asn116), in the putative effector-binding domain (residue 38), at the putative acylation site (Cys181), and at the unique Thr61 all decreased the transformation-suppressor activity. On the other hand, substitutions including Gly12 to Val12, Ala59 to Thr59, and Gln63 to Glu63 were found to significantly increase the transformation-suppressor activity of K-rev-1. These findings are consistent with the idea that K-rev-1 protein is regulated like many other G-proteins by guanine triphosphate/guanine diphosphate-exchange mechanism probably in response to certain negative growth-regulatory signals.

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