Decreased catalytic subunit mRNA levels and altered catalytic subunit mRNA structure in a cAMP-resistant Chinese hamster ovary cell line

P. Howard, K. H. Day, K. E. Kim, J. Richardson, J. Thomas, I. Abraham, R. D. Fleischmann, M. M. Gottesman, R. A. Maurer

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30 Scopus citations


The mechanisms responsible for decreased levels of cAMP-dependent protein kinase activity in a mutant Chinese hamster ovary cell line have been examined. The cAMP-resistant Chinese hamster ovary 10260 cell line was found to possess only 20% of the cAMP-dependent protein kinase activity found in wild-type cells. The presence of decreased concentrations of the catalytic subunit in these cells was confirmed through binding studies using a radiolabeled, heat-stable inhibitor of the kinase. Cloned Chinese hamster ovary catalytic subunit cDNAs were isolated, characterized, and used as hybridization probes to examine the relative concentrations of catalytic subunit mRNAs in the wild-type and 10260 cell lines. A 40-50% decrease in the concentration of the mRNA for the Cα isozyme of the catalytic subunit was observed in 10260 cells, as compared with wild-type. This decrease in catalytic subunit mRNA concentration probably accounts for a portion of the decreased kinase activity in the mutant cells. Further analysis of Cα mRNA by polymerase chain reaction confirmed the decreased expression of Cα mRNA in 10260 cells and further demonstrated the presence of two different species of Cα mRNA in the 10260 cells. One species of Cα cDNAs was indistinguishable from the wild-type cDNA, but the other species was shorter. Nucleotide sequence analysis of the amplified cDNAs led to the identification of a 191-base pair deletion in the shorter cDNA. Gene transfer studies using wild-type and 10260 Cα cDNAs demonstrated that the longer cDNA from the 10260 cells produced wild-type activity, but the shorter cDNA was inactive. These studies suggest that at least two alterations in gene expression are responsible for decreased cAMP-dependent protein kinase activity in the 10260 cell line. One alteration results in an approximately 2-fold decrease in the concentrations of Cα mRNA in the cells. The other change produces two species of Cα mRNA; one of the Cα mRNAs does not encode an active kinase.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)10189-10195
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number16
StatePublished - 1991
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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