The simian virus 40 (SV40) large T antigen is a multifunctional protein involved in SV40 cell transformation and lytic virus infection. Some of its activities are regulated by interaction with cellular proteins and/or by phosphorylation of T antigen by various protein kinases. In this study, we show that immuno-purified T antigen from SV40-transformed cells and from baculovirus-infected insect cells is tightly associated with a protein kinase that phosphorylates T antigen in vitro. In the presence of heparin or a peptide resembling a protein kinase CK2 recognition site, the phosphorylation of T antigen by the associated kinase is reduced whereas a p34cdc2-kinase-specific peptide has no influence. In addition, the T-antigen-associated protein kinase can use GTP and ATP as phosphate donors. These properties together with the observation that immunopurified T antigen can be phosphorylated by the addition of protein kinase CK2 suggest that at least one of the T-antigen-associated protein kinases is CK2 or a protein-kinase-CK2-related enzyme. The association of recombinant CK2 with T antigen was strongly confirmed by in vitro binding studies. Experiments with temperature-sensitive SV40-transformed cells provide evidence for a close correlation between cell transformation and phosphorylation of T antigen by the associated protein kinase.
European Journal of Biochemistry, 1995, Vol 233, Issue 1, p. 327-34