Parotid glands were stimulated to growth by repeated injection of the beta-agonist isoprenaline into rats. Incubation of intact parotid-gland lobules with [32P]Pi and subsequent analysis of nuclear proteins revealed in the stimulated glands an increased 32P incorporation into two acid-soluble non-histone proteins with apparent Mr values of 110,000 and 130,000 (p110 and p130). After a single injection of isoprenaline, leading to a biphasic increase in DNA synthesis (maximum at 24 h), the same two proteins showed a transiently increased 32P incorporation at 17 h after injection. At this time point at the onset of DNA synthesis the total activity of soluble cyclic AMP-dependent protein kinase decreased. No change in p110/p130 phosphorylation was observed at 0.3 h after stimulation, a time of maximal stimulation of secretion. Administration of the beta-antagonist propranolol 8 h after the injection of isoprenaline suppressed the increase in DNA synthesis, the preceding changes in the concentration of cyclic AMP and in the activity of cyclic AMP-dependent protein kinase, as well as the increased phosphorylation of p110 and p130. Cross-reactivity of p110 and p130 with specific antisera against two nucleolar phosphoproteins of similar molecular mass (nucleolin and pp135), as well as their localization in a nucleolar cell fraction, indicated a possible identity of p110 and p130 with these two proteins. Our results suggest that nucleolin and pp135 are nuclear target proteins of cyclic AMP in the cyclic AMP-influenced regulation of the transition of cells from the G1 to the S phase.

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