Defective regulation of mitogen-activated protein kinase activity in a 3T3 cell variant mitogenically nonresponsive to tetradecanoyl phorbol acetate.

Molecular and cellular biology

PubMedID: 1990261

L'Allemain G, Sturgill TW, Weber MJ. Defective regulation of mitogen-activated protein kinase activity in a 3T3 cell variant mitogenically nonresponsive to tetradecanoyl phorbol acetate. Mol Cell Biol. 1991;11(2):1002-8.
Mitogen-activated protein (MAP) kinase is a serine/threonine-specific protein kinase which is activated in response to various mitogenic agonists (e.g., epidermal growth factor, insulin, and the tumor promoter tetradecanoyl phorbol acetate [TPA]) and requires both threonine and tyrosine phosphorylation for activity. This enzyme has recently been shown to be identical or closely related to pp42, a protein which becomes tyrosine phosphorylated in response to mitogenic stimulation. Neither the kinases which regulate MAP kinase/pp42 nor the in vivo substrates for this enzyme are known. Because MAP MAP kinase is activated and phosphorylated in response both to agents which stimulate tyrosine kinase receptors and to agents which stimulate protein kinase C, a serine/threonine kinase, we have examined the regulation and phosphorylation of this enzyme in 3T3-TNR9 cells, a variant cell line partially defective in protein kinase C-mediated signalling. In this communication, we show that in the 3T3-TNR9 variant cell line, TPA does not cause the characteristically rapid phosphorylation of pp42 or the activation and phosphorylation of MAP kinase. This defective response is not due to the absence of the MAP kinase/pp42 protein itself because both tyrosine phosphorylation of MAP kinase/pp42 and its enzymatic activation could be induced by platelet-derived growth factor in the 3T3-TNR9 cells. Thus, the defect in these variant cells apparently resides in some aspect of the regulation of MAP kinase phosphorylation. Since the 3T3-TNR9 cells are also defective with respect to the TPA-induced increase in ribosomal protein S6 kinase, these in vivo results reinforce the earlier in vitro finding that MAP kinase can regulate S6 kinase activity. These findings suggest a key role for MAP kinase in a kinase cascade cascade involved in the control of cell proliferation.