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Browsing by department "Biotieteen laitos"

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  • Jeltsch, Markku Michael (1997)
  • Korsisaari, Nina Kristiina (1998)
    Cells in tissues have only three serious options in life; they can grow and divide, remain static, or die by apoptosis. Upon growth factor stimulation a cell enters the so called cell cycle which will eventually lead to the division of the cell. Cell cycle can be divided into four phases; G1, S, G2 and M. The current model of the cell cycle control holds that the transitions between different cell cycle states are regulated by cyclin dependent kinases (CDK) with their activator subunits, the cyclins. CDK regulation can be separated into four distinct mechanisms, one of which being phosphorylation on the so called T-loop leading to complete activation. This phosphorylating activity is mediated by apparently a single enzymatic activity termed the CDK activating kinase, CAK. CAK activity was originally isolated as a biochemical purification extract and the enzyme was surprisingly noticed to be structurally related to CDKs. Since a novel cyclin was identified to be associated to it, the enzyme exercising CAK activity was named CDK7 and the cyclin was designated cyclin H. An entirely new perspective on CDK7 function was opened when CDK7 was identified as a subunit of transcription factor IIH (TFIIH) and shown to phosphorylate the carboxy-terminal domain (CTD) of RNA polymerase II (RNAPII). CDK7 has also been suggested to be involved in irradiation sensitivity pathways and nucleotide excision repair functions. To elucidate the intriguing in vivo role of CDK7, proteins interacting with CDK7 were screened for using the yeast two-hybrid method as part of previous studies of the laboratory. The results showed that 15 out of 144 (10,4%) positive clones were identified to encode a peptide sequence of a protein previously known as the inhibitor/interactor of protein kinase C (PKCI). These yeast colonies had an unexpected phenotype; contradictory to a dark blue color of the colonies, indicating strong interaction, the size of the PKCI colonies was small compared to others, indicating a possible growth inhibition effect. Several DNA open reading frames (ORF) coding for proteins related to human PKCI have been identified in a broad range of species representing mammalian, plant, fungal and bacterial kingdoms, all these forming a HIT (conserved triad of histidines) protein family. Another human member, part of this now super family, named FHIT (fragile triad of histidines) was identified with a dinucleoside 5’,5’’’-P1,P3-triphosphate hydrolase activity. These molecules; substrates of FHIT and related enzymes have been proposed to have various intracellular functions, including signalling stress responses. The aim of this study was to extend the investigation of the interaction between CDK7 and PKCI observed in yeast two-hybrid by means of several genetic and biochemical approaches to determine if this observed interaction and growth phenotype has any physiological significance. Investigations included performing yeast two-hybrid screening for PKCI, developing yeast three-hybrid system and carrying out growth rate assays for yeast liquid cultures. These studies also included performing biochemical purifications of over-expressed proteins, immunoprecipitations, western blot analysis and kinase activity assays. Protein extracts originated from transformed yeast cells, transfected mammalian cells or from in vitro transcription and translation reactions. On basis of growth rate assays it can be concluded that PKCI has an inhibitory growth effect in yeast. The preliminary finding of a specific PKCI-CDK7 interaction in yeast two-hybrid, however could not be conclusively verified by the other methods that were used in this study. Studies of PKCI characterisation also included examination of the subcellular localisation of PKCI in mammalian cells by immunofluorescence labelling of HA-PKCI. Results showed PKCI to localize both in the nucleus and in the cytoplasm. Also, studies to elucidate the function of PKCI were performed; whether it possesses enzymatic activity related to that of FHIT. By NMR spectroscopy using bacterially produced GST-PKCI, hydrolase activity towards ADP was indeed observed. Future studies will include elucidation of possible links between growth inhibition and hydrolase activity, in the form of stress signalling functions. The main focus of our future studies will be the generation of mice with targeted PKCI alleles offering powerful means to reveal the function of PKCI through observing phenotypes and through detailed analysis of these mice harbouring wild type, hypomorphic or null alleles.