In this report we analyze the protein product of a growth arrest-specific gene, gas2, by means of an affinity-purified antibody raised against the protein produced in bacteria. The regulation of Gas2 biosynthesis reflects the pattern of mRNA expression (Schneider, C., R. King, and L. Philipson. 1988. Cell. 54:787-793): its relative level is tightly associated with growth arrest. Gas2 seems to be regulated also at the posttranslational level via a phosphorylation mechanism. Gas2 is well conserved during the evolution with the same apparent molecular mass (36 kD) between mouse and human. We also demonstrate that Gas2 is a component of the microfilament system. It colocalizes with actin fiber, at the cell border and also along the stress fiber, in growth-arrested NIH 3T3 cells. The pattern of distribution, detected in arrested cells, can also be observed in growing cells when they are microinjected with the purified GST-Gas2 protein. In none of the analyzed oncogene-transformed NIH 3T3 cell lines was Gas2 expression induced under serum starvation.

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