In quiescent cultures of 3T3 cells, plasminogen activator (PA) is found predominantly as a 75,000 dalton species. When quiescent cells are exposed to mitogenic agents such as phorbol myristate acetate, Ca++, or 25% serum, the absolute levels of PA in cell lysates may either increase or decrease. However, a consistent observation is that in the stimulated cultures PA is found predominantly as a 49,000 dalton species. This also is the predominant form of PA in growing and transformed cells. Concomitant with the mitogen-induced stimulation of the 49,000 dalton PA in quiescent cultures is a change in morphology to one that is characteristic of growing and transformed cells. The data suggest that PA is not operative in causing the morphological change that occurs with activation; however, the 49,000 dalton PA in particular is closely related to the pleiotypic response accompanying growth stimulation and transformation.

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