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J Biol Chem. 1990 Nov 15;265(32):19679-84.

Molecular structure of microtubule-associated protein 2b and 2c from rat brain.

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  • 1Center for Molecular Neurobiology, University of Hamburg, West Germany.


Full length cDNA clones encoding microtubule-associated proteins (MAP) 2b and 2c from rat brain have been isolated and sequenced. The cDNA fragments spanning the coding regions for both MAP2b and MAP2c were assembled and expressed in Escherichia coli. The mobility of these bacterial expressed proteins in sodium dodecyl sulfate gels is identical to that of MAP2b and MAP2c from rat brain. The protein sequence of rat MAP2b has been compared to the full length sequence from mouse and the partial sequence from human high molecular weight MAP2. This comparison has revealed that MAP2b is composed of several highly conserved domains flanked by domains with extensive sequence divergence. Two of the conserved domains, found either at the NH2 or COOH terminus, overlap with the binding domain for the regulatory subunit of the cAMP-dependent protein kinase II and the microtubule-binding domain, respectively. A third homologous domain of unknown function lies in a central region of MAP2b. Secondary structure prediction suggests that the portion of MAP2b which extends from the microtubule surface is composed of an extensive number of alpha-helices separated by small turns which may account for the extended yet flexible structure of MAP2. Interestingly, the 4000-base pair deletion from the middle of MAP2b which generates MAP2c not only removes these helices, but also this third highly conserved MAP2b domain.

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