Uninfected vertebrate cells contain a protein that is closely related to the product of the avian sarcoma virus transforming gene (src).
Cell Transformation, Neoplastic
Cell Transformation, Viral
Neoplastic transformation of cell by avian sarcoma virus is mediated by a single viral gene (src), which encodes a phosphoprotein (pp60src) with the enzymatic activity of a protein kinase. The DNAs of vertebrate species contain a highly conserved homologue of src that is also represented in the polysomal RNA of uninfected cells and, hence, may specify a normal cellular protein. We have used antisera directed against pp60src to isolate a closely related phosphoprotein (denoted vertebrate pp60) from uninfected chicken, quail, rat, and human cells. Our data indicate that vertebrate pp60 is a homologue of pp60src, highly conserved both antigenically and chemically. Moreover, the cellular protein may possess protein kinase activity similar to that associated with pp60src. We conclude that the product of src is a slightly modified analogue of a normal cellular protein.