Ability of the c-mos product to associate with and phosphorylate tubulin

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Science  08 Feb 1991:
Vol. 251, Issue 4994, pp. 671-675
DOI: 10.1126/science.1825142


The mos proto-oncogene product, pp39mos, is a protein kinase and has been equated with cytostatic factor (CSF), an activity in unfertilized eggs that is thought to be responsible for the arrest of meiosis at metaphase II. The biochemical properties and potential substrates of pp39mos were examined in unfertilized eggs and in transformed cells in order to study how the protein functions both as CSF and in transformation. The pp39mos protein associated with polymers under conditions that favor tubulin oligomerization and was present in an approximately 500-kilodalton "core" complex under conditions that favor depolymerization. beta-Tubulin was preferentially coprecipitated in pp39mos immunoprecipitates and was the major phosphorylated product in a pp39mos-dependent immune complex kinase assay. Immunofluorescence analysis of NIH 3T3 cells transformed with Xenopus c-mos showed that pp39mos colocalizes with tubulin in the spindle during metaphase and in the midbody and asters during telophase. Disruption of microtubules with nocodazole affected tubulin and pp39mos organization in the same way. It therefore appears that pp39mos is a tubulin-associated protein kinase and may thus participate in the modification of microtubules and contribute to the formation of the spindle. This activity expressed during interphase in somatic cells may be responsible for the transforming activity of pp39mos.

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