Cultured animal cells exposed to amino acid analogues or puromycin rapidly synthesize several polypeptides

J Cell Physiol. 1980 Mar;102(3):407-27. doi: 10.1002/jcp.1041020315.


Four major acidic polypeptides, with molecular weights of 88, 72, 71, and 23 thousand, and minor polypeptides with molecular weights of 110, 50, 38, and 30 thousand rapidly accumulated in cultured chick embryo (CE) cells which were exposed for three hours to the arginine analogue canavanine. P110, P88, P71,72, and P23 had unique peptide maps. Evidence of a 27,000 dalton precursor to P23 was obtained. The analogue-stimulated proteins were not related to another set of inducible avian polypeptides known as the glucose-regulated proteins. In mammalian cells, the rate of accumulation of several polypeptides, which were similar in size to the avian proteins, sharply increased after canavanine treatment. Proteins with the same electrophoretic mobilities, isoelectric points, and peptide maps as the analogue-stimulated proteins were expressed at low levels in untreated cultures. To determine the time courses of the canavanine-mediated increases in protein accumulation and the recovery of protein metabolism after analogue treatment, radioactively labeled proteins were extracted from CE cells and analyzed on SDS-polyacrylamide gels. In cultures exposed to canavanine, the rates of accumulation of P88 and P71,72 increased from basal to new plateau levels in about 1.5 hours, while P23 required about 2.5 hours. When added with the analogue, actinomycin D and cordycepin blocked the increases in protein accumulation. These inhibitors also blocked the rapid decline in the rates of accumulation of the enhanced proteins which occurred after removal of canavanine. Studies of the matabolic stability of the enhanced proteins indicated that the changes in their accumulation were caused by alterations in their rates of synthesis. Thus, the analogue-mediated response fulfilled several of the criteria for inducible eucaryotic gene expression. The amino acid analogue p-fluorophenylalanine and the chain-terminating analogue of amino acyl-tRNA puromycin stimulated the synthesis of the same set of proteins induced by canavanine. The enhanced synthesis of these proteins appeared to be a cellular response to either the presence or catabolism of abnormal proteins and puromycyl peptides.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acids / pharmacology*
  • Animals
  • Canavanine / pharmacology
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Chick Embryo
  • Electrophoresis, Polyacrylamide Gel
  • Glucose / pharmacology
  • Molecular Weight
  • Peptide Biosynthesis*
  • Puromycin / pharmacology*
  • RNA, Transfer, Amino Acyl / pharmacology
  • p-Fluorophenylalanine / pharmacology


  • Amino Acids
  • RNA, Transfer, Amino Acyl
  • Canavanine
  • Puromycin
  • p-Fluorophenylalanine
  • Glucose