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J Biol Chem. 1989 Feb 5;264(4):2053-9.

Cloning and characterization of the yeast CKI gene encoding choline kinase and its expression in Escherichia coli.

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  • 1Department of Biochemistry, Gunma University School of Medicine, Maebashi, Japan.


Using a mutant defective in choline kinase (Hosaka, K., and Yamashita, S. (1980) J. Bacteriol. 143, 176-181; Hosaka, K., and Yamashita, S. (1987) Eur. J. Biochem. 162, 7-13), the structural gene (CKI) for choline kinase of the yeast, Saccharomyces cerevisiae, was isolated by means of genetic complementation. Within its sequence there was an open reading frame capable of encoding 582 amino acids with a calculated molecular weight of 66,316. The primary translation product contained a segment closely related to the phosphotransferase consensus sequence (Brenner, S. (1987) Nature 329, 21). A yeast transformant carrying CKI in multiple copies exhibited very high choline kinase activity as well as ethanolamine kinase activity. In-frame insertion of the CKI coding frame into lacZ' on the pUC19 vector led to efficient expression of choline kinase in Escherichia coli cells in the presence of a lac inducer, isopropylthiogalactoside, proving that CKI is the structural gene for choline kinase. Concomitantly, ethanolamine kinase activity was also expressed. When the CKI locus in the wild-type yeast genome was inactivated by its replacement with the in vitro disrupted cki gene, the yeast cells lost virtually all of the choline kinase activity and most of the ethanolamine kinase activity. Thus, it is concluded that choline kinase is mono-cistronic and that the ethanolamine kinase activity is a second activity of choline kinase in the yeast.

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