Cell cycle dependent regulation of protein kinase CK2 signaling to the nuclear matrix

Huamin Wang, Shihui Yu, Alan T. Davis, Khalil Ahmed

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30 Scopus citations


Protein kinase CK2 is a ubiquitous protein serine/threonine kinase that is involved in cell growth and proliferation as well as suppression of apoptosis. Several studies have suggested that the kinase plays a role in cell cycle progression; however, changes in enzyme activity during phases of cell cycle have not been detected. Nuclear matrix is a key locus for CK2 signaling in the nucleus. We therefore examined CK2 signaling to the nuclear matrix in distinct phases of cell cycle by employing synchronized ALVA-41 prostate cancer cells. Removal of serum from the culture medium resulted in G0/G1 arrest, and a reduction in the nuclear matrix-associated CK2 activity which was rapidly reversed on addition of serum. Arresting the cells in G0/G1 phase with hydroxyurea and subsequent release to S phase by serum gave similar results. Cells arrested in the G2/M phase by treatment with nocodazole demonstrated an extensive reduction in the nuclear matrix-associated CK2 which was reversed rapidly on addition of serum. Changes in the immunoreactive CK2 protein were concordant with the activity data reflecting a dynamic trafficking of the kinase in distinct phases of cell cycle. Under the same conditions, CK2 activity in total cellular lysate remained essentially unaltered. These results provide the first direct evidence of discrete modulations of CK2 in the nuclear matrix during the cell cycle progression. Inducible overexpression of CK2 in CHO cells yielded only a modest increase in CK2 activity even though a significant increase in expression was apparent at the level of CK2α-specific message. Stably transfected ALVA-41 cells, however, did not show a significant change in CK2 levels despite increased expression at the message level. Not surprisingly, both types of the stably transfected cells failed to show any alteration in cell cycle progression. Distribution of the CK2 activity in the cytosolic versus nuclear matrix fractions in normal cells appears to be different from that in the cancer cells such that the ratio of nuclear matrix to cytosolic activity is much higher in the latter. Considering that nuclear matrix is central to several nuclear functions, this pattern of intracellular distribution of CK2 may have implications for its role in the oncogenic process.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)812-822
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Cellular Biochemistry
Issue number4
StatePublished - Mar 1 2003


  • Cancer cells
  • Cell cycle
  • Nuclear matrix
  • Prostate
  • Protein kinase CK2
  • Stable transfection


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