Cell-cycle regulated expression and serine phosphorylation of the myristylated protein kinase C substrate, SSeCKS: correlation with culture confluency, cell cycle phase and serum response

Mol Cell Biochem. 1997 Oct;175(1-2):233-41. doi: 10.1023/a:1006836003758.


We recently identified a novel myristylated protein kinase C (PKC) substrate, named SSeCKS (pronounced essex), whose transcription is suppressed > 15 fold in src- or ras-transformed rodent fibroblasts, but not in raf-transformed cells [1, 2]. SSeCKS associates with and controls the elaboration of a cortical cytoskeletal matrix in response to phorbol esters [2], and overexpression of SSeCKS causes growth arrest of untransformed NIH3T3 cells [3]. Our preliminary data suggested that SSeCKS functions as a negative mitogenic regulator by controlling cytoskeletal architecture and that serine phosphorylation of SSeCKS by kinases such as PKC alters its interaction with cytoskeletal matrices and its ability to control mitogenesis. Here, we determine the effects of culture confluency, growth arrest and serum response on the steady-state abundance of SSeCKS RNA and protein and on the relative level of phosphoserine-free SSeCKS. SSeCKS transcription is initially induced by serum factors and by contact-inhibited growth rather than by cell-cycle arrest induced by serum starvation, hydroxyurea or nocodazole, and following serum-induced G1/S progression, SSeCKS transcription is suppressed. SSeCKS protein is hyperphosphorylated on serine residues during G1/S progression but not during the G2/M phase. Finally, we show that the induction of SSeCKS protein expression by contact inhibition is independent of SSeCKS' serum responsiveness. These data suggest that SSeCKS expression and function can be controlled at either the transcriptional or post-translational level in response to serum factors and culture confluency. The data strengthen the notion that SSeCKS plays an important, yet transient, role in cell cycle progression from G0 to G1 that differs from its role in controlling contact-inhibited growth.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • A Kinase Anchor Proteins
  • Animals
  • Blotting, Northern
  • Cell Communication
  • Cell Culture Techniques
  • Cell Cycle / physiology*
  • Cell Cycle Proteins / genetics
  • Cell Cycle Proteins / metabolism*
  • Fibroblasts / metabolism*
  • Flow Cytometry
  • Gene Expression
  • Immunoblotting
  • Immunoenzyme Techniques
  • Mice
  • Mitogens / genetics
  • Mitogens / metabolism*
  • Phosphorylation
  • Phosphoserine
  • Protein Kinase C / metabolism*
  • Protein Processing, Post-Translational*
  • RNA / metabolism
  • Rats
  • Serine / metabolism


  • A Kinase Anchor Proteins
  • Akap12 protein, mouse
  • Akap12 protein, rat
  • Cell Cycle Proteins
  • Mitogens
  • Phosphoserine
  • Serine
  • RNA
  • Protein Kinase C