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Oncogene. 1995 Jan 19;10(2):229-36.

Phosphorylation of E2F-1 by cyclin A-cdk2.

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Banyu Tsukuba Research Institute, Merck Research Laboratories, Japan.


Transcription factor E2F-1 has a putative consensus sequence for phosphorylation by cyclin dependent kinase (Ser-Pro-X-Lys/Arg). Therefore, we studied the phosphorylation of E2F-1 in vivo and in vitro and its biological functions. E2F-1 was prepared by immunoprecipitation with anti-E2F-1 antibody from IMR32 lysates and was effectively phosphorylated by human cyclin A-cdk2 which was expressed in insect cells using baculovirus system. GST-E2F-1 was phosphorylated by cyclin A-cdk2 more efficiently than by cyclin E-cdk2. Cyclin D1-cdk4 phosphorylated pRB but scarcely phosphorylated GST-E2F-1 or H1 histone. The 60 kd protein precipitated with anti-E2F-1 antibody was phosphorylated in vivo. Phospho-peptide mapping indicated that its cleavage profile was identical with that of E2F-1 phosphorylated by cyclin A-cdk2 in vitro. This 60 kd protein, which is likely to be E2F-1, was not phosphorylated during the G0 and early G1 phase. Phosphorylation of E2F-1 began from the S phase while phosphorylation of pRB started nearly at G1/S. The in vivo phosphorylation of E2F-1 was inhibited by butyrolactone I, a cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor (Kitagawa et al., 1993, Oncogene, 8, 2425-2432). The binding of E2F-1 to E2 promoter was found to be reduced by phosphorylation of E2F-1 by cyclin A-cdk2, suggesting that phosphorylation of E2F-1 may induce shut off of gene expression at the transcriptional level. These results suggest that E2F-1 is phosphorylated by cyclin A-cdk2 in the S phase in vivo as well as in vitro and that its phosphorylation by cyclin A-cdk2 may modulate its activity.

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