Multiplication-stimulating activity (MSA), a protein which stimulates DNA synthesis and growth of chicken embryo fibroblasts, was purified from serum-free medium conditioned by the growth of a rat liver cell line. Purified MSA was shown to rapidly stimulate ouabain-sensitive Na+, K+-ATPase activity as measured by both enzyme assay and rate of 86Rubidium uptake. Labeled ouabain binding was also shown to increase after stimulation of quiescent cells by serum or purified MSA. Conditions which interfere with the ability of the cells to accumulate potassium, such as the presence of the specific inhibitor, ouabain; incubation in potassium-free medium; or the presence of the potassium ionophore, valinomycin, were all demonstrated to inhibit the stimulation of DNA synthesis by serum or purified MSA. These results suggest that an early event in the stimulation of DNA synthesis by purified MSA is an activation of membrane Na+, K+-ATPase with a resulting accumulation of potassium ions inside the cell.

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