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Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2005 Jun 17;331(4):1494-502.

Isolation and characterization of Dictyostelium thymidine kinase 1 as a calmodulin-binding protein.

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Department of Biology, University of Toronto at Mississauga, Mississauga, Ont., Canada.


Probing of a cDNA expression library from multicellular development of Dictyostelium discoideum using a recombinant radiolabelled calmodulin probe (35S-VU1-CaM) led to the isolation of a cDNA encoding a putative CaM-binding protein (CaMBP). The cDNA contained an open reading frame of 951 bp encoding a 227aa polypeptide (25.5 kDa). Sequence comparisons led to highly significant matches with cytosolic thymidine kinases (TK1; EC from a diverse number of species including humans (7e-56; 59% Identities; 75% Positives) indicating that the encoded protein is D. discoideum TK1 (DdTK1; ThyB). DdTK1 has not been previously characterized in this organism. In keeping with its sequence similarity with DdTK1, antibodies against humanTK1 recognize DdTK1, which is expressed during growth but decreases in amount after starvation. A CaM-binding domain (CaMBD; 20GKTTELIRRIKRFNFANKKC30) was identified and wild type DdTK1 plus two constructs (DdTK deltaC36, DdTK deltaC75) possessing the domain were shown to bind CaM in vitro but only in the presence of calcium while a construct (DdTK deltaN72) lacking the region failed to bind to CaM. Thus, DdTK1 is a Ca2+-dependent CaMBP. Sequence alignments against TK1 from vertebrates to viruses show that CaM-binding region is highly conserved. The identified CaMBD overlaps the ATP-binding (P-loop) domain suggesting CaM might affect the activity of this kinase. Recombinant DdTK is enzymatically active and showed stimulation by CaM (113+/-0.5%) an in vitro enhancement that was prevented by co-addition of the CaM antagonists W7 (91.2+/-0.8%) and W13 (96.6+/-0.6%). The discovery that TK1 from D. discoideum, and possibly other species including humans and a large number of human viruses, is a Ca2+-dependent CaMBP opens up new avenues for research on this medically relevant protein.

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