Specific activation of p85-p110 phosphatidylinositol 3'-kinase stimulates DNA synthesis by ras- and p70 S6 kinase-dependent pathways

James McIlroy, Daxin Chen, Christina Wjasow, Tamar Michaeli, Jonathan M. Backer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

70 Scopus citations


We have developed a polyclonal antibody that activates the heterodimeric p85-p110 phosphatidylinositol (PI) 3'-kinase in vitro and in microinjected cells. Affinity purification revealed that the activating antibody recognized the N-terminal SH2 (NSH2) domain of p85, and the antibody increased the catalytic activity of recombinant p85-p110 dimers threefold in vitro. To study the role of endogenous PI 3'-kinase in intact cells, the activating anti-NSH2 antibody was microinjected into GRC+LR73 cells, a CHO cell derivative selected for tight quiescence during serum withdrawal. Microinjection of anti-NSH2 antibodies increased bromodeoxyuridine (BrdU) incorporation fivefold in quiescent cells and enhanced the response to serum. These data reflect a specific activation of PI 3'-kinase, as the effect was blocked by coinjection of the appropriate antigen (glutathione S- transferase-NSH2 domains from p85α), coinjection of inhibitory anti-p110 antibodies, or treatment of cells with wortmannin. We used the activating antibodies to study signals downstream from PI 3'-kinase. Although treatment of cells with 50 nM rapamycin only partially decreased anti-NSH2-stimulated BrdU incorporation, coinjection with an anti-p70 S6 kinase antibody effectively blocked anti-NSH2-stimulated DNA synthesis. We also found that coinjection of inhibitory anti-ras antibodies blocked both serum- and anti- NSH2-stimulated BrdU incorporation by approximately 60%, and treatment of cells with a specific inhibitor of MEK abolished antibody-stimulated BrdU incorporation. We conclude that selective activation of physiological levels of PI 3'-kinase is sufficient to stimulate DNA synthesis in quiescent cells. PI 3'-kinase-mediated DNA synthesis requires both p70 S6 kinase and the p21(ras)/MEK pathway.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)248-255
Number of pages8
JournalMolecular and cellular biology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1997

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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