The protein encoded by the transforming gene of avian sarcoma virus (pp60(src)) and a homologous protein in normal cells (pp60(proto-src)) are associated with the plasma membrane

S. A. Courtneidge, A. D. Levinson, J. M. Bishop

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Oncogenesis by avian sarcoma virus is attributable to a single viral gene (src) which encodes a phosphoprotein (pp60(src)) with the enzymatic activity of a protein kinase. A closely related protein, pp60(proto-src), occurs in uninfected cells from a wide variety of vertebrate species and is presumed to be the product of a cellular gene that served as progenitor for src. We explored the location of these proteins within the cell by using immunoprecipitation to analyze subcellular fractions prepared from avian sarcoma virus-transformed rat and chicken cells and from uninfected rat cells. We found that both pp60(src) and pp60(proto-src) were associated with the plasma membrane as active protein kinases and could be recovered efficiently only by disrupting the membranes with nonionic detergent. Our findings, in conjunction with those of other investigators, indicate that both proteins are embedded in the membrane by means of a hydrophobic domain(s); available evidence indicates that pp60(src) is not exposed on the surface of the cell but is accessible at the cytoplasmic aspect of the plasma membrane. These conclusions lend credence to two current speculations. First, pp60(src) and pp60(proto-src) may have similar or even identical functions. Second, neoplastic transformation may originate from derangements in the plasma membrane or its affiliated structures.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3783-3787
Number of pages5
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number7 II
StatePublished - Dec 1 1980


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