Sheree A. Wek

Learn More
In response to environmental stress, cells induce a program of gene expression designed to remedy cellular damage or, alternatively, induce apoptosis. In this report, we explore the role of a family of protein kinases that phosphorylate eukaryotic initiation factor 2 (eIF2) in coordinating stress gene responses. We find that expression of activating(More)
The lipid fraction ("fat cake") of rat epididymal adipocytes contains a prominent phosphoprotein (62 kDaapp by sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis) that is multiply phosphorylated by cAMP-dependent protein kinase in vivo, at which point it migrates as a 65/67-kDaapp doublet by sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis(More)
Protein kinase GCN2 is a multidomain protein that contains a region homologous to histidyl-tRNA synthetases juxtaposed to the kinase catalytic moiety. Previous studies have shown that in response to histidine starvation, GCN2 phosphorylates eukaryotic initiation factor 2 (eIF-2), to induce the translational expression of GCN4, a transcriptional activator of(More)
Disruptions of the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) that perturb protein folding cause ER stress and elicit an unfolded protein response (UPR) that involves translational and transcriptional changes in gene expression aimed at expanding the ER processing capacity and alleviating cellular injury. Three ER stress sensors (PERK, ATF6, and IRE1) implement the UPR.(More)
Nuclear factor kappaB (NF-kappaB) serves to coordinate the transcription of genes in response to diverse environmental stresses. In this report we show that phosphorylation of the alpha subunit of eukaryotic initiation factor 2 (eIF2) is fundamental to the process by which many stress signals activate NF-kappaB. Phosphorylation of this translation factor is(More)
Hormone-sensitive lipase activity (HSL), which is found in the supernatant of centrifuged homogenates of lipolytically quiet isolated rat adipocytes, was greatly reduced in or absent from the supernatant of lipolytically stimulated cells. The lipase was purified 100- to 250-fold from the supernatant of lipolytically quiet cells to 10-20% purity by a single(More)
Phosphorylation of the alpha subunit of eukaryotic initiation factor 2 (eIF-2alpha) is a well-characterized mechanism regulating protein synthesis in response to environmental stresses. In the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae, starvation for amino acids induces phosphorylation of eIF-2alpha by Gcn2 protein kinase, leading to elevated translation of GCN4, a(More)
The GCN2 eIF2alpha kinase is essential for activation of the general amino acid control pathway in yeast when one or more amino acids become limiting for growth. GCN2's function in mammals is unknown, but must differ, since mammals, unlike yeast, can synthesize only half of the standard 20 amino acids. To investigate the function of mammalian GCN2, we have(More)
The major cAMP-dependent protein kinase (A-kinase) substrate in adipocytes is perilipin, a protein found exclusively at the surface of the lipid storage droplets. Using anti-perilipin serum, we have isolated two related classes of full-length coding cDNAs, designated perilipin A and B, from a rat adipocyte cDNA expression library. The two cDNAs derive from(More)
When cells are subjected to nutritional stress, uncharged tRNAs accumulate and activate Gcn2p phosphorylation of eukaryotic initiation factor-2 (eIF2) and the general amino acid control pathway. The Gcn2p regulatory domain homologous to histidyl-tRNA synthetases is proposed to bind to uncharged tRNA, directly contributing to activation of Gcn2p. Here we(More)