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New Biol. 1991 Jun;3(6):601-7.

Modulation of the mitogenic activity of eukaryotic translation initiation factor-4E by protein kinase C.

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Biological Carcinogenesis and Development Program, National Cancer Institute, Frederick Cancer Research and Development Center, MD 21702-1201.


Eukaryotic initiation factor-4E (eIF-4E) binds to the cap structure of eukaryotic mRNAs and is a component of the cap-binding protein complex eIF-4F. eIF-4E is present in cells in limiting concentrations and is phosphorylated both in vivo and in vitro by protein kinase C (PKC). Recently, eIF-4E has been implicated as an intracellular transducer of extracellular growth signals; microinjection of recombinant eIF-4E into quiescent NIH 3T3 cells induced DNA synthesis. In the present report, the mitogenic activity of eIF-4E was examined after coinjection with PKC. Recombinant eIF-4E was phosphorylated by PKC at the same amino acid that is phosphorylated in cultured cells and reticulocytes in response to phorbol ester. At limiting concentrations of eIF-4E, coinjection with PKC induced a fivefold increase in the mitogenic activity of eIF-4E. Injection of PKC alone or coinjection of eIF-4E with cAMP-dependent protein kinase (PKA) or the Raf protein had no effect. These results suggest that the mitogenic activity of eIF-4E is enhanced by PKC-specific phosphorylation and that phosphate addition is a rate-limiting step in eIF-4E activity.

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