Nuclear protein kinase activities during the cell cycle of HeLa S3 cells

UMMS Affiliation

Department of Cell Biology

Publication Date


Document Type



Cell Cycle; Cell Nucleus; Chromosomal Proteins, Non-Histone; Cytarabine; Hela Cells; Histones; Humans; Phosphorylation; Protein Kinases


Cell Biology


To ascertain the activity and substrate specificity of nuclear protein kinases during various stages of the cell cycle of HeLa S3 cells, a nuclear phospho-protein-enriched sample was extracted from synchronised cells and assayed in vitro in the presence of homologous substrates. The nuclear protein kinases increased in activity during S and G2 phase to a level that was twice that of kinases from early S phase cells. The activity was reduced during mitosis but increased again in G1 phase. When the phosphoproteins were separated into five fractions by cellulose-phosphate chromatography each fraction, though not homogenous, exhibited differences in activity. Variations in the activity of the protein kinase fractions were observed during the cell cycle, similar to those observed for the unfractionated kinases. Sodium dodecyl sulfate polyacrylamide gel electrophoretic analysis of the proteins phosphorylated by each of the five kinase fractions demonstrated a substrate specificity. The fractions also exhibited some cell cycle stage-specific preference for substrates; kinases from G1 cells phosphorylated mainly high molecular weight polypeptides, whereas lower molecular weight species were phosphorylated by kinases from the S, G2 and mitotic stages of the cell cycle. Inhibition of DNA and histone synthesis by cytosine arabinoside had no effect on the activity or substrate specificity of S phase kinases. Some kinase fractions phosphorylated histones as well as non-histone chromosomal proteins and this phosphorylation was also cell cycle stage dependent. The presence of histones in the in vitro assay influenced the ability of some fractions to phosphorylate particular non-histone polypeptides; non-histone proteins also appeared to affect the in vitro phosphorylation of histones.


Biochim Biophys Acta. 1979 Dec 17;565(2):326-46.

Journal/Book/Conference Title

Biochimica et biophysica acta

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Link to Article in PubMed

PubMed ID