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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Erythroid cells rendered erythropoietin independent by infection with Friend spleen focus-forming virus show constitutive activation of phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase and Akt kinase: involvement of insulin receptor substrate-related adapter proteins.

The erythroleukemia-inducing Friend spleen focus-forming virus (SFFV) encodes a unique envelope glycoprotein which allows erythroid cells to proliferate and differentiate in the absence of erythropoietin (Epo). In an effort to understand how SFFV causes Epo independence, we have been examining erythroid cells rendered factor independent by SFFV infection for constitutive activation of signal-transducing molecules. Previous studies from our laboratory showed that various signal-transducing molecules known to be activated by Epo, including Stat proteins and components of the Raf-1/MAP kinase pathway, are constitutively activated in SFFV-infected erythroid cells in the absence of Epo. Since another signal transduction pathway involving activation of phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI 3-kinase) after Epo stimulation plays an important role in erythroid cell proliferation and differentiation, we carried out studies to determine if this pathway was also activated in SFFV-infected cells in the absence of Epo. Our studies show that PI 3-kinase is constitutively activated in erythroid cells rendered factor independent by infection with SFFV and that PI 3-kinase activity, but not Epo receptor tyrosine phosphorylation, is required for the proliferation of these cells in the absence of Epo. We further show that in SFFV-infected erythroid cells grown in the absence of Epo, PI 3-kinase associates with the insulin receptor substrate (IRS)-related adapter molecules IRS-2, Gab1, and Gab2, which are constitutively tyrosine phosphorylated in SFFV-infected cells. Finally, Akt, a protein kinase that is one of the downstream effectors of PI 3-kinase, and SHIP, a lipid phosphatase that is important for Akt activation through PI 3-kinase, are both tyrosine phosphorylated in SFFV-infected cells grown in the absence of Epo. Our results indicate that induction of Epo independence by SFFV requires the activation of PI 3-kinase and suggest that constitutive activation of this kinase in SFFV-infected cells may occur primarily through interaction of PI 3-kinase with constitutively phosphorylated IRS-related adapter molecules.[1]


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