The interferon-induced double-stranded RNA-activated human p68 protein kinase potently inhibits protein synthesis in cultured cells

Sean Bong Lee, Zora Melkova, Wei Yan, Bryan R.G. Williams, Ara G. Hovanessian, Mariano Esteban

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The role of the interferon-induced double-stranded RNA (dsRNA)-activated human p68 protein kinase as an inhibitor of protein synthesis has been inferred from work with cell-free systems, but direct proof in animal cells is lacking. To document the action of p68 protein kinase in vivo, we have used an infection-transfection system where expression of p68 is driven by a vaccinia virus promoter regulated by the lacI repressor/operator controlling elements. In cultured cells infected with vaccinia virus and transfected with a plasmid containing the p68 gene, there is synthesis of p68 when lacI repressor is inhibited with isopropyl-β-D-thiogalactoside. When infection- transfections are carried out with the p68 gene together with the luciferase (LUC) reporter gene, a strong inhibition of LUC expression developed with time postinfection. This inhibition was not observed with a mutant form of the kinase (Lys → Arg at position 296) and it was reversed by antisense expression of the p68 gene. During inhibition of LUC expression the protein kinase was phosphorylated, possibly as a result of autophosphorylation activated by the dsRNA forms which are known to accumulate in vaccinia virus- infected cells. Inhibition of LUC expression was at the level of translation. Our findings demonstrate that expression and activation of the human p68 protein kinase in vivo potently inhibits protein synthesis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)380-385
Number of pages6
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 1993
Externally publishedYes

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