Subcellular location of an abundant substrate (p36) for tyrosine-specific protein kinases

S. Courtneidge, R. Ralston, K. Alitalo, J. M. Bishop

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55 Scopus citations


A 36,000-dalton cellular protein (p36) has been identified previously as an abundant substrate for phosphorylation by tyrosine-specific protein kinases. Since several of the responsible kinases are associated with the plasma membrane, we explored the subcellular distribution of p36. Biochemical fractionations located p36 on the plasma membrane of both normal and retrovirus-transformed cells. Approximately half of the p36 was bound to the membrane with the affinity of a peripheral membrane protein; the remainder was even more tightly bound. The distribution of p36 among subcellular fractions and its affinity for the plasma membrane were not affected by tyrosine phosphorylation. We determined that p36 is synthesized in the soluble compartment of the cell and then moves rapidly to the membranous compartment. Immunofluorescence microscopy with antibodies directed against p36 revealed two distinct distributions of the antigen: a sharply demarcated crenelated pattern within or immediately beneath the plasma membrane, which we presume to be a correlary of the distribution of p36 in biochemical fractionations; and diffuse staining in a cytoplasmic location that could not be attributed to a specific feature of cytoarchitecture and could not be easily reconciled with the results of biochemical fractionations. Efforts to detect the secretion of p36 were unsuccessful. No evidence was obtained for exposure of p36 on the cell surface, and no changes in localization were observed as a consequence of neoplastic transformation. During the course of this study, we had the opportunity to pursue a previous report that p36 is a component of the enzyme malate dehydrogenase. We were unable to substantiate this claim. We conclude that at least a substantial fraction of p36 is located on the cytoplasmic aspect of the plasma membrane, where it could be well situated to serve as a substrate for several identified tyrosine-specific kinases. But the function of p36 and its role, if any, in neoplastic transformation of cells by retroviruses possessing tyrosine-specific kinases remain enigmatic.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)340-350
Number of pages11
JournalMolecular and cellular biology
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1983
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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