We have identified in rabbits two hepatic forms of T669 peptide kinases that are very strongly activated after systemic injection with the inflammatory cytokine interleukin 1 (IL-1). The T669 peptide contains a major phosphorylation site of the epidermal growth factor receptor, threonine 699 and is a substrate for mitogen-activated protein (MAP) kinases. The kinases were purified to homogeneity and corresponded to 50- and 55-kD proteins on sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis. Amino acid sequencing of 12 tryptic peptides of both kinases identified them as p54 MAP kinase alpha. This kinase belongs to the novel family of stress-activated protein kinases. This is the first evidence of IL-1 activating a specific protein kinase in vivo.

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