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Abstract

Incubation of membranes prepared from the human colon adenocarcinoma cell line LoVo in vitro with [γ-32P]ATP demonstrated numerous components whose phosphorylation was stimulated several fold by epidermal growth factor (EGF). One major component of Mn 170 K, which was either undetectable or very weakly phosphorylated in the absence of EGF, was primarily affected by exposure to EGF. The phosphorylation of the 170 K Mr membrane component required the presence of Mn2+; Mg2+ was ineffective. Although the phosphorylation of many LoVo membrane components was significantly modified by cAMP or dibutyryl-cAMP, none of these cyclic nucleotides appeared to be involved in the phosphorylation of the 170 K membrane component in the presence or absence of EGF. The phosphorylation system of the LoVo membranes efficiently utilized (γ-32P)GTP in both the basal and EGF-stimulated reactions. All the membrane components phosphorylated in the absence or presence of EGF, except a band comigrating with the tracking dye front, were digested by trypsin. The possible glycoprotein nature of the 170 K dalton phosphoprotein was indicated by the fact that the 170 K dalton band comigrated with a periodic acid-Schiff base-stained band. These findings suggest that one of the biochemical steps in the mechanism of action of EGF in LoVo cells is enhanced phosphorylation of several membrane proteins, especially that of a glycoprotein of Mr 170 K, by a membrane-bound cyclic nucleotide independent protein kinase.