Phosphorylation of a 27-kDa protein correlates with survival of protein- synthesis-inhibited MCF-7 cells

Avraham Geier*, Rina Hemi, Michal Haimsohn, Rachel Beery, Avraham Karasik

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Previously, we have shown that IGF-1, the phorbol ester 12-O- tetradecanoylphorbol-13-acetate (TPA) and aurintricarboxylic acid (ATA) protected MCF-7 cells against death induced by the protein synthesis inhibitor cycloheximide (CHX). We proposed that phosphorylation of a putative cellular protein(s) may be involved in this survival mechanism. In the present study we investigated the ability of several agents to induce phosphorylation of cellular proteins and correlated this ability to their survival effect. We found that TPA, ATA, and IGF-1 increased the degree of phosphorylation of a 27-kDa protein in a dose- and time-dependent manner in CHX-treated MCF-7 cells. The ED50 values observed were 25 ng/ml, 40 μg/ml and 15 ng/ml for TPA, ATA, and IGF-1, respectively. The effect was measured upon 10 min of cell treatment with each agent; it reached maximum at 60 min and thereafter decreased continuously to control levels. The 27-kDa protein was found in the cytosolic fraction as a phosphorylated serine residue. Further characterization with two-dimensional electrophoresis indicated that the 27-kDa phosphoprotein was resolved into two isoforms with pI 5.7 and 5.9. Such characteristics were observed for the small molecular weight heat shock protein HSP27. Indeed, a single band of 27 kDa was detected immunologically with rabbit polyclonal anti-human HSP27. The inactive phorbol ester αTPA, epidermal growth factor (EFG), and 8-bromoadenosine 3'5'-cyclic monophosphate (Br-cAMP) did not increase phosphorylation of the 27-kDa protein. Cell survival was measured by exposure of the CHX-pretreated cells to increasing concentrations of the various agents for 60 min, followed by a further incubation for 48 h in the presence of CHX only. TPA, ATA, and IGF-1 were found to enhance cell survival, whereas αTPA, EGF, and Br-cAMP did not. Our results indicate a correlation between phosphorylation of a 27-kDa protein, probably HSP27, and enhanced cell survival, suggesting a role for this phosphoprotein in the survival mechanism.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)129-136
Number of pages8
JournalIn Vitro Cellular and Developmental Biology - Animal
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1997
Externally publishedYes


  • HSP27 phosphorylation
  • IGF-1
  • TPA
  • aurintricarboxylic acid
  • cell survival


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