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Cell Growth & Differentiation Vol. 10, 113-129, February 1999
© 1999 American Association for Cancer Research

Cell Cycle-dependent Nuclear Accumulation of the p94fer Tyrosine Kinase Is Regulated by Its NH2 Terminus and Is Affected by Kinase Domain Integrity and ATP Binding1

Israel Ben-Dor, Orna Bern, Tamar Tennenbaum and Uri Nir2

Faculty of Life Sciences, Bar-Ilan University, Ramat-Gan 52900, Israel

p94fer and p51ferT are two tyrosine kinases that are encoded by differentially spliced transcripts of the FER locus in the mouse. The two tyrosine kinases share identical SH2 and kinase domains but differ in their NH2-terminal amino acid sequence. Unlike p94fer, the presence of which has been demonstrated in most mammalian cell lines analyzed, the expression of p51ferT is restricted to meiotic cells. Here, we show that the two related tyrosine kinases also differ in their subcellular localization profiles. Although p51ferT accumulates constitutively in the cell nucleus, p94fer is cytoplasmic in quiescent cells and enters the nucleus concomitantly with the onset of S phase.

The nuclear translocation of the FER proteins is driven by a nuclear localization signal (NLS), which is located within the kinase domain of these enzymes. The functioning of that NLS depends on the integrity of the kinase domain but was not affected by inactivation of the kinase activity. The NH2 terminus of p94fer dictated the cell cycle-dependent functioning of the NLS of FER kinase. This process was governed by coiled-coil forming sequences that are present in the NH2 terminus of the kinase. The regulatory effect of the p94fer NH2-terminal sequences was not affected by kinase activity but was perturbed by mutations in the kinase domain ATP binding site.

Ectopic expression of the constitutively nuclear p51ferT in CHO cells interfered with S-phase progression in these cells. This was not seen in p94fer-overexpressing cells. The FER tyrosine kinases seem, thus, to be regulated by novel mechanisms that direct their different subcellular distribution profiles and may, consequently, control their cellular functioning.




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Molecular Cancer Research Cell Growth & Differentiation
Copyright © 1999 by the American Association of Cancer Research.