The C-terminal portion of adenovirus E1A suppresses ras-induced metastasis and tumorigenicity in mammalian cells; however, little is known about the mechanisms by which this occurs. In the simple eukaryote Saccharomyces cerevisiae, Ras2p, the homolog of mammalian h-ras, regulates mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) and cyclic AMP-dependent protein kinase A (cAMP/PKA) signaling pathways to control differentiation from the yeast form to the pseudohyphal form. When expressed in yeast, the C-terminal region of E1A induced pseudohyphal differentiation, and this was independent of both the MAPK and cAMP/PKA signaling pathways. Using the yeast two-hybrid system, we identified an interaction between the C-terminal region of E1A and Yak1p, a yeast dual-specificity serine/threonine protein kinase that functions as a negative regulator of growth. E1A also physically interacts with Dyrk1A and Dyrk1B, two mammalian homologs of Yak1p, and stimulates their kinase activity in vitro. We further demonstrate that Yak1p is required in yeast to mediate pseudohyphal differentiation induced by Ras2p-regulated signaling pathways. However, pseudohyphal differentiation induced by the C-terminal region of E1A is largely independent of Yak1p. These data suggest that mammalian Yak1p-related kinases may be targeted by the E1A oncogene to modulate cell growth.
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