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Oncogene. 1995 Feb 16;10(4):623-30.

Kinase activities of c-Mos and v-Mos proteins: a single amino acid exchange is responsible for constitutive activation of the 124 v-Mos kinase.

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Max-Delbrück-Laboratorium Max-Planck-Gesellschaft, Köln, Germany.


The Mos protein kinase is a serine-/threonine-specific protein kinase with a crucial role in meiotic cell divisions in vertebrates. Several oncogenic derivatives of the c-Mos protein have been discovered in murine retroviruses. These proteins have acquired mutations and exhibit different degrees of protein kinase activity in vitro. In an attempt to understand the factors governing Mos protein kinase activity we have compared the kinase activities of the wild-type c-Mos protein and two v-Mos proteins (strain HT1 and MSV124) after expression in insect cells. Only the 124 v-Mos protein showed kinase activity in vitro as measured by autophosphorylation, vimentin phosphorylation or by phosphorylation and activation of MAP kinase kinase. By domain swapping and site-directed mutagenesis we identified a single point mutation in the 124 v-Mos protein (Arg145-->Gly) which is responsible for its constitutive activity. This residue is located in the alpha-helix C of the kinase domain close to the ATP binding fold and is conserved in all known c-Mos proteins. Introduction of the corresponding mutation into HT1 v-Mos and into murine c-Mos activated both proteins for autophosphorylation, vimentin phosphorylation and for signalling via MAP kinase kinase in vitro. We hypothesize that the Arg145-->Gly mutation found in 124 v-Mos mimicks a conformational change which might be an obligatory step in the activation of c-Mos in vivo.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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