Early region 1A (E1A) of human adenovirus type 5 (Ad5) produces two mRNAs coding for phosphoproteins of 289 and 243 residues (289R and 243R). Each of these products has been shown to migrate on sodium dodecyl sulfate gels as two major and two minor species. In the present study, the stabilities of E1A polypeptides, as well as those of some other early Ad5 proteins, were studied in infected KB cells that were pulse-labeled with [35S]methionine and then chased in the presence or absence of cycloheximide. The E1B 58,000- and 19,000-molecular-weight proteins (58K and 19K proteins; 496R and 176R) as well as the E2A 72K DNA-binding protein were relatively stable over the 4-h chase period; turnover was less than 30%. The E1A species were considerably more unstable, with an overall half-life of about 60 min. Interestingly, it was found that when cycloheximide was present during the chase, E1A proteins were much more stable, and the half-life increased to about 240 min. Analysis of the stabilities of individual E1A species indicated that the products of the 1.1-kilobase mRNA (289R) had half lives (about 55 min) somewhat shorter than those (about 90 min) of the 0.9-kilobase mRNA products (243R). In addition, the faster-migrating species produced from each mRNA (molecular weights, 48,500 and 45,000) had significantly shorter half-lives than did the slower-migrating species (52,000 and 50,000). In the presence of cycloheximide, the faster-migrating species were still quite short-lived, but the half-lives of the 52K and 50K species were considerably increased. An examination of the kinetics of turnover of the various E1A species suggested that the faster-migrating forms may be precursors to the slower-migrating ones. Somewhat similar stabilities were also found for the various E1A species in Ad5-transformed 293 cells
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