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Cell. 1990 Nov 30;63(5):933-40.

A Drosophila gene that is homologous to a mammalian gene associated with tumor metastasis codes for a nucleoside diphosphate kinase.

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  • 1Department of Biology, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland 21218.


The product of the abnormal wing discs (awd) gene of Drosophila is 78% identical to the product of the nm23 gene of mammals, which is differentially expressed in certain metastatic tumors. We present evidence that the awd gene codes for a nucleoside diphosphate kinase (NDP kinase) and that this Awd/NDP kinase is microtubule associated. Neuroblasts in Drosophila larvae homozygous for a null mutation in the awd gene are arrested in metaphase, indicating that microtubule-associated Awd/NDP kinase plays a critical role in spindle microtubule polymerization.

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