Activation of transcription factor SAF involves its phosphorylation by protein kinase C

Alpana Ray, Alan P. Fields, Bimal K. Ray

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22 Scopus citations


The transcription factor serum amyloid A (SAA)-activating factor (SAF), a family of zinc finger proteins, plays a significant role in the induced expression of the SAA gene. Activity of SAF is regulated by a phosphorylation event involving serine/threonine protein kinase (Ray, A., Schatten, H., and Ray, B. K. (1999) J. Biol. Chem. 274, 4300-4308; Ray, A., and Ray, B. K. (1998) Mol. Cell. Biol. 18, 7327-7335). However, the identity of the protein kinase has so far remained unknown. Induction of SAA by phorbol 12-myristate 13-acetate, a known agonist of protein kinase C (PKC), suggested a potential role of the PKC signaling pathway in the activation process. The DNA binding activity of endogenous SAF was increased by agonists of PKC. In vitro phosphorylation of SAF-1 by PKC-β markedly increased its DNA binding ability. Consistent with these findings, treatment of cells with activators of PKC or overexpression of PKC-βII in transfected cells increased expression of an SAF-regulated promoter. Further analysis with a GAL4 reporter system indicated that PKC-mediated phosphorylation mostly increases the DNA binding activity of SAF-1. Together these data indicated that the PKC signaling pathway plays a major role in controlling expression of SAF-regulated genes by increasing the interaction between promoter DNA and phosphorylated SAF.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)39727-39733
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number50
StatePublished - Dec 15 2000

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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