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Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2003 Nov 7;311(1):156-61.

Induction of cell-cell detachment during glucose starvation through F-actin conversion by SNARK, the fourth member of the AMP-activated protein kinase catalytic subunit family.

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Investigative Treatment Division, National Cancer Center Research Institute East, Kashiwa, Chiba, Japan.


SNARK, the fourth member of the AMPK catalytic subunit family, was originally identified in a rat kidney cDNA library, and in this study we isolated its human homologue. A BLAST search analysis using rat SNARK protein yielded a single high homology clone, DKFZp434J037, isolated from human testis, and since its hypothetical protein showed 84% homology to rat SNARK protein, we assumed DKFZp434J037 to be the human SNARK cDNA. The human SNARK cDNA is 3443bp long and encodes a 628 amino acid protein having an estimated molecular weight of 69kDa, and its chromosomal localization had been assigned to 1q32.1. The same as other members of AMPK catalytic subunit family, human SNARK showed AMP-dependent GST-SAMS phosphorylation activity and enhanced HepG2 cell survival during glucose starvation. Human SNARK-overexpressing HepG2 cells (H/SNK) showed acute cell-cell detachment when exposed to glucose-free medium and the cell-cell detachment correlated well with the detection of G-actin. Deletion mutant analysis strongly suggested that the putative catalytic domain of SNARK is necessary for the cell-cell detachment, and Western blotting analysis showed that phosphorylation of FAK and PKC, which were dramatically increased by glucose starvation in HepG2 cells, was markedly suppressed by SNARK.

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