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J Biol Chem. 2002 Sep 6;277(36):33319-24. Epub 2002 Jun 20.

Identification and characterization of RPK118, a novel sphingosine kinase-1-binding protein.

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  • 1Division of Biochemistry, Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology, Kobe University Graduate School of Medicine, Kobe 650-0017, Japan.


Sphingosine kinase (SPHK) is a key enzyme catalyzing the formation of sphingosine 1 phosphate (SPP), a lipid messenger that is implicated in the regulation of a wide variety of important cellular events through intracellular as well as extracellular mechanisms. However, the molecular mechanism of the intracellular actions of SPP remains unclear. Here we have cloned a novel sphingosine kinase-1 (SPHK1)-binding protein, RPK118, by yeast two-hybrid screening. RPK118 contains several functional domains whose sequences are homologous to other known proteins including the phox homology domain and pseudokinase 1 and 2 domains and is shown to be a member of an evolutionarily highly conserved gene family. The pseudokinase 2 domain of RPK118 is responsible for SPHK1 binding as judged by yeast two-hybrid screening and immunoprecipitation studies. RPK118 is also shown to co-localize with SPHK1 on early endosomes in COS7 cells expressing both recombinant proteins. Furthermore, RPK118 specifically binds to phosphatidylinositol 3-phosphate. These results strongly suggest that RPK118 is a novel SPHK1-binding protein that may be involved in transmitting SPP-mediated signaling into the cell.

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