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J Biol Chem. 1990 Apr 25;265(12):6921-7.

Separate nuclear genes encode sarcomere-specific and ubiquitous human mitochondrial creatine kinase isoenzymes.

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  • 1Department of Medicine, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, Missouri 63110.


Creatine kinase (EC isoenzymes play a central role in energy transduction. Nuclear genes encode creatine kinase subunits from muscle, brain, and mitochondria (MtCK). We have recently isolated a cDNA clone encoding MtCK from a human placental library which is expressed in many human tissues (Haas, R. C., Korenfeld, C., Zhang, Z., Perryman, B., Roman, D., and Strauss, A. W. (1989) J. Biol. Chem. 264, 2890-2897). With nontranslated and coding region probes, we demonstrated by RNA blot analysis that the MtCK mRNA in sarcomeric muscle is distinct from this placenta-derived, ubiquitous MtCK cDNA. To compare these different mRNAs, a MtCK cDNA clone was isolated from a human heart library and characterized by complete nucleotide sequence analysis. The chemically determined NH2-terminal 26 residues of purified human heart MtCK protein are identical to those predicted from this sarcomeric MtCK cDNA. The human sarcomeric and ubiquitous cDNAs share 73% nucleotide and 80% predicted amino acid sequence identities, but have less than 66% identity with the cytosolic creatine kinases. The sarcomeric MtCK cDNA encodes a 419-amino acid protein which contains a 39-residue transit peptide essential for mitochondrial import. Primer extension analysis predicts a 348-base pair 5'-nontranslated region. RNA blot analysis demonstrates that heart-derived MtCK is sarcomere-specific, but the ubiquitous MtCK mRNA is expressed in most tissues. Thus, separate nuclear genes encode two closely related, tissue-specific isoenzymes of MtCK. Our finding that multiple genes encode different mitochondrial protein isoenzymes is rare.

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