We have shown that the heavy chain of clathrin is phosphorylated in chicken embryo fibroblast cells transformed by Rous sarcoma virus, but not in normal cells. Approximately 1 mol of phosphate is bound for every 5 mol of heavy chain in the maximally phosphorylated transformed cells. Two-thirds of the phosphate is on serine and one-third on tyrosine residues. Clathrin heavy chain is a substrate for pp60(v-src) in vitro. Cleveland analysis of the in vivo and in vitro clathrin heavy chain phosphopeptides, generated by protease V8 digestion, show labeled proteolytic fragments of similar molecular weight, suggesting that pp60(v-src) could be directly responsible for the in vivo phosphorylation of clathrin. Phosphate is equally incorporated into clathrin in both the unassembled and the assembled clathrin pools, whereas [35S]methionine is preferentially incorporated into the assembled pool. In normal cells, clathrin visualized by immunofluorescent staining appears in a punctate pattern along the membrane surface and concentrated around the nucleus; in transformed cells the perinuclear staining is completely absent. The phosphorylation of clathrin heavy chain in transformed cells may be linked to previously observed transformation-dependent alterations in receptor-mediated endocytosis of ligands such as EGF and thrombin.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cell Biology