Differential modulation of plasminogen activator gene expression by oncogene-encoded protein tyrosine kinases

Sheila M. Bell, Denise C. Connolly, Nita J. Maihle, Jay L. Degen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations


Urokinase-type plasminogen activator (uPA) gene transcription is increased ≥ 50-fold in chicken embryo fibroblasts (CEF) following transformation by the protein tyrosine kinase pp60v-src. Protein phosphorylation appears to play a critical role in uPA gene expression in these cells; protein kinase C-activating phorbol esters cooperate with pp60v-src to synergistically increase uPA mRNA, whereas cyclic AMP (cAMP)-dependent protein kinase-activating agents (e.g., 8-bromo cAMP) repress uPA mRNA levels. To explore the relationship between transforming oncogenes and uPA gene expression, uPA mRNA levels were measured in CEF infected with selected avian retroviruses. We report that v-ras and the transforming protein tyrosine kinases v-src, v-yes, and v-ros all increase cellular uPA mRNAs. However, transformation with the protein tyrosine kinase encoded by v-erbB, or the nuclear proteins encoded by v-jun, v-ski, or v-myc, did not increase uPA mRNA detectably. Ras and all of the protein tyrosine kinases analyzed, including the v-erbB product, but none of the nuclear oncoproteins sensitized cells to phorbol ester induction of uPA gene expression. Thus, increased uPA gene expression is not simply a secondary consequence of cell transformation but, rather, is regulated or comodulated by only a subset of oncogene products. Analysis of cells expressing site-directed mutants of pp60v-src showed that the induction of the uPA gene is dependent on protein tyrosine kinase catalytic activity, myristylation, and plasma membrane localization. However, these properties together are not sufficient; an additional feature in the src homology 2 domain is also required. The major sites of serine phosphorylation, serines 12 and 17, and the autophosphorylation site, tyrosine 416, are not essential for uPA gene induction. However, the reduction of uPA mRNA in pp60v-src-transformed cells by 8-bromo cAMP is dependent on tyrosine 416.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)5888-5897
Number of pages10
JournalMolecular and Cellular Biology
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 1993
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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