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Mol Cell Biol. Dec 1993; 13(12): 7625–7635.
PMCID: PMC364834

A novel 205-kilodalton testis-specific serine/threonine protein kinase associated with microtubules of the spermatid manchette.


To identify proteins which interact with and potentially modulate the function of microtubules during spermatogenesis, we prepared a total testis MAP (microtubule-associated protein) antiserum and used it to isolate cDNA clones from a mouse testis cDNA expression library. Antibodies affinity purified by using one expression clone recognized a 205-kDa protein, termed MAST205, which colocalizes with the spermatid manchette. Sequencing of full-length cDNA clones encoding MAST205 revealed it to be a novel serine/threonine kinase with a catalytic domain related to those of the A and C families. The testis-specific MAST205 RNA increases in abundance during prepuberal testis development, peaking at the spermatid stage. The microtubule-binding region of MAST205 occupies a central region of the molecule including the kinase domain and sequences C terminal to this domain. Binding of MAST205 to microtubules requires interaction with other MAPs, since it does not bind to MAP-free tubulin. A 75-kDa protein associated with immunoprecipitates of MAST205 from extracts of both whole testis and testis microtubules becomes phosphorylated in in vitro kinase assays. This 75-kDa substrate of the MAST205 kinase may form part of the MAST205 protein complex which binds microtubules. The MAST205 protein complex may function to link the signal transduction pathway with the organization of manchette microtubules.

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