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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1992 Jul 1;89(13):5877-81.

Membrane-bound Dictyostelium myosin heavy chain kinase: a developmentally regulated substrate-specific member of the protein kinase C family.

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Department of Cell Biology, Stanford University School of Medicine, CA 94305.


A cDNA clone corresponding to the Dictyostelium myosin heavy chain kinase (MHCK) gene was isolated using antibodies specific to the purified enzyme. Sequence analysis of the cDNA revealed that the Dictyostelium MHCK possesses all of the domains characteristic of members of the protein kinase C family. The amino-terminal region of the MHCK contains the cysteine-rich motif with an internal duplication that is present in all known protein kinase C species. This domain precedes sequences that are highly homologous to protein kinase catalytic domains. The carboxyl-terminal region contains a cluster of 23 serine and threonine residues that may represent the autophosphorylation domain of the Dictyostelium MHCK. These results, along with previous studies that indicate that this enzyme has very restrictive substrate specificity, incorporates approximately 20 mol of phosphate per mol of kinase through an autophosphorylation reaction, and is expressed only during development, suggest that the Dictyostelium MHCK is a distinct member of the protein kinase C family and imply that this kinase family, which may include members with very specific cellular functions, may be even more heterogeneous than previously thought.

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