Protein kinase CK2, an important regulator of the inflammatory response?
Elevation of intracellular casein kinase II (CKII) levels through microinjection of purified CKII results in the rapid and transient induction of c-fos in quiescent rat embryo fibroblasts, and activation of quiescent cells by serum is accompanied by the nuclear relocation of endogenous CKII. The induction of c-fos by CKII is inhibited by coinjection of oligonucleotides corresponding to the sequence of the serum response element (SRE) present in the c-fos promoter, indicating that competitive displacement of positive factors from the endogenous c-fos SRE prevents c-fos induction by CKII. Furthermore, the expression of c-fos induced by either CKII injection or serum activation is also inhibited by microinjection of antibodies against the 67 kDa serum response factor (p67SRF) indicating the absolute requirement of p67SRF in this process. Finally, we show the specific phosphorylation of p67SRF in vivo following microinjection of CKII into quiescent cells. Together, these data strongly support that CKII induces c-fos expression through binding/activation of the phosphorylated p67SRF at the SRE sequence.