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EMBO J. 1994 Dec 15;13(24):6006-10.

Altering the specificity of signal transduction cascades: positive regulation of c-Jun transcriptional activity by protein kinase A.

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Department of Pharmacology, School of Medicine, University of California, San Diego, La Jolla 92093.


Protein phosphorylation is commonly used to modulate transcription factor activity. However, all existing genetic evidence for stimulation of transcription factor activity by phosphorylation rests on loss-of-function mutations. To demonstrate conclusively that phosphorylation of a transcription factor potentiates its transactivation potential in vivo, we constructed a c-Jun mutant that is phosphorylated by the cAMP-sensitive protein kinase A (PKA) instead of the UV- and Ras-responsive protein kinase JNK. The transcriptional activity of this mutant is enhanced by PKA, but not by JNK activation. These results provide a positive and conclusive proof that phosphorylation of c-Jun on a critical site (Ser73) located in its activation domain is directly responsible for enhancing its transactivation function.

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