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J Biol Chem. 2002 May 17;277(20):17696-705. Epub 2002 Mar 7.

Alternative splice variants of doublecortin-like kinase are differentially expressed and have different kinase activities.

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Department of Molecular Genetics, Weizmann Institute of Science, Rehovot 76100, Israel.


Alternative splicing of mRNA transcripts expands the range of protein products from a single gene locus. Several splice variants of DCLK (doublecortin-like kinase) have previously been reported. Here, we report the genomic organization underlying the splice variants of DCLK and examine the expression profile of two splice variants affecting the kinase domain of DCLK and CPG16 (candidate plasticity gene 16), one containing an Arg-rich domain and the other affecting the C terminus of the protein. These splice alternatives were differentially expressed in embryonic and adult brain. Both splice variants disrupted DCLK PEST domains; however, all splice variants remained sensitive to proteolysis by calpain. The adult-specific C-terminal splice variant of DCLK had reduced autophosphorylation activity, but similar kinase activity for myelin basic protein relative to the embryonic splice variant. The splice variant adding an Arg-rich domain gained an autophosphorylation site at Ser-382. Although this protein isoform was expressed mainly in the adult brain, the phosphorylated form was strongly enriched in embryonic brain and adult olfactory bulb, suggesting a possible role in migrating neurons.

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