We investigated the initiation of synthesis of proteins in human lymphocytes exposed to the mitogen phytohemagglutinin (PHA) for 6 h. Radiolabeled proteins in three subcellular fractions, cytoplasmic, nuclear salt wash, and nuclear, were separated on polyacrylamide gels. Compared with cells incubated for the same time in the absence of PHA only two cytoplasmic proteins of Mr 51 and 60 kd showed increased synthesis in a dose-dependent fashion. Synthesis of the 60-kd protein shows the strongest correlation with rate of entry into the first S phase and with rate of cellular aggregation. Thus, the 60-kd protein appears to be a major early response-associated protein for entry of lymphocytes into the first S phase after PHA stimulation.

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