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Nature. 1990 Feb 15;343(6259):662-5.

Subcellular fate of the int-2 oncoprotein is determined by choice of initiation codon.

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Imperial Cancer Research Fund Laboratories, UK.


Fibroblast growth factors (FGFs) have been implicated in many aspects of cell growth and differentiation both in normal and neoplastic settings. For example, the mouse int-2 gene, which encodes an FGF-related product, is a frequent target of proviral activation in carcinomas induced by mouse mammary tumour virus, but apparently functions at discrete stages of normal embryonic development. Six classes of int-2 messenger RNA have been identified in embryonic cells, each of which is predicted to encode the same 245-amino-acid protein. But all known int-2 transcripts include sequences upstream of the AUG codon presumed to be the initiation codon. Here we report an additional N-terminally extended int-2 gene product initiated at an in-frame CUG codon. In COS-1 cells transiently transfected with appropriate int-2 complementary DNAs, the AUG-initiated product is found predominantly in the secretory pathway, whereas the CUG-initiated form is localized to the nucleus. These data indicate that the Int-2 oncoprotein could influence cellular behaviour by two distinct mechanisms.

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