Current issues in the regulation of signal transduction

George Weber, Noemi Prajda, Hongyuan Yang, Y. Albert Yeh, Fei Shen, Radhey L. Singhal, Maria Herenyiova, Katherine Y. Look

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15 Scopus citations


(1) In all examined rat and human tissues and cells, PIP kinase activity was rate-limiting and PLC activity was present in great excess. (2) The steady-state activities of the signal transduction enzymes, PI kinase, PIP kinase and PLC, and the concentration of the end product, IP3, were determined in rat liver and hepatomas of different malignancies. The activities of all three enzymes were elevated in the hepatomas in a non- random fashion. A generalization emerged that the enzyme with the lowest activity in liver, PIP kinase, increased to the highest extent and the enzyme with the highest activity in liver, PLC, increased to the smallest extent in rapidly growing hepatomas. The IP3 concentration in the hepatomas was elevated in a progression-linked fashion. (3) The three signal transduction enzyme activities were elevated in human ovarian carcinoma samples and in human breast carcinoma cells. (4) When human breast carcinoma MDA-MB-435 cells were allowed to go through lag, log and plateau phases, the IP3 concentration reached a 20-fold peak at 12 hr after plating. The elevation in IP3 concentration preceded the rise in PI and PIP kinase activities which increased 11-fold in the log phase. The IP3 concentration and PI and PIP kinase activities returned to their baseline levels when the plateau phase was reached. The PLC activity did not change significantly during the whole period. (5) Administration of cycloheximide i.p. in rats revealed short half- lives in the bone marrow for the two kinases (8 min) and a long half-life for PLC (>6 hr). In a group of 10 enzymes, the half-lives of the kinases were the shortest. In cycloheximide-injected rats, the bone marrow IP3 concentration was reduced to about 50% in 30 min. The reduction of IP3 concentration is attributed to the decline to 15 and 12%, respectively, in PI and PIP kinase activities since PLC activity did not change. (6) In 3-day starved rats, the bone marrow PI and PIP kinase were reduced to activities (13%) that were markedly lower than the decrease in the protein concentration (to 55%). By contrast, the PLC activity was preferentially maintained (to 78%) over the protein level. Under starvation, the IP3 concentration decreased (to 24%), indicating that starvation can markedly disrupt IP3 homeostasis. Refeeding returned the enzymic activities and the IP3 concentration to the normal level in bone marrow in 24 hr. (7) Comparison of the absolute activities of PI and PIP kinases and PLC showed that PLC is present in an excess; therefore, it does not appear to have a rate-limiting action in cycloheximide treated rats or in starvation. (8) Whereas PI and PIP kinases have short half-lives and apparently rapid synthetic rates. PLC has high activity, a long half-live and responds to starvation with only a small decrease. (9) The gain in function manifested in the over-expressed capacity for signal transduction confers growth advantages to cancer cells. These increased activities, particularly those of PI and PIP kinases, should be sensitive targets for chemotherapy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)33-55
Number of pages23
JournalAdvances in Enzyme Regulation
StatePublished - 1996

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Medicine
  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics
  • Cancer Research

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    Weber, G., Prajda, N., Yang, H., Yeh, Y. A., Shen, F., Singhal, R. L., Herenyiova, M., & Look, K. Y. (1996). Current issues in the regulation of signal transduction. Advances in Enzyme Regulation, 36, 33-55.