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Oncogene. 1995 Jan 5;10(1):39-48.

Phosphorylation of a specific cdk site in E2F-1 affects its electrophoretic mobility and promotes pRB-binding in vitro.

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Department of Molecular Carcinogenesis, Sylvius Laboratory, University of Leiden, The Netherlands.


The E2F transcription factor family participates in growth control presumably through transcriptional activation of genes that promote entry into S phase. E2F activity is believed to be controlled across the cell cycle by association with various cellular proteins, including the product of the retinoblastoma gene (pRB). We find that E2F-1 proteins are heterogeneously phosphorylated in insect cells, as a result of which they migrate as a doublet on SDS-polyacrylamide gels. This electrophoretic shift is shown to be dependent upon specific phosphorylation of E2F-1 on serine-375 (S375), near the pRB-binding site. Phosphorylation on S375 also occurs in human cells. E2F-1 was most efficiently phosphorylated on this residue by cyclin A/cdk2 kinase, and to a lesser extent by cyclin A/cdk2, irrespective of the presence of the pRB-related p107 protein. Phosphorylation of E2F-1 on S375 greatly enhanced its affinity of pRB in vitro. These results suggest a novel way of regulating E2F-1 activity, namely by cell-cycle-dependent phosphorylation of this transcription factor.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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