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Mol Genet Metab. 2006 Aug;88(4):334-45. Epub 2006 Mar 20.

Conserved family of glycerol kinase loci in Drosophila melanogaster.

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Department of Pediatrics, David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, USA.


Glycerol kinase (GK) is an enzyme that catalyzes the formation of glycerol 3-phosphate from ATP and glycerol, the rate-limiting step in glycerol utilization. We analyzed the genome of the model organism Drosophila melanogaster and identified five GK orthologs, including two loci with sequence homology to the mammalian Xp21 GK protein. Using a combination of sequence analysis and evolutionary comparisons of orthologs between species, we characterized functional domains in the protein required for GK activity. Our findings include additional conserved domains that suggest novel nuclear and mitochondrial functions for glycerol kinase in apoptosis and transcriptional regulation. Investigation of GK function in Drosophila will inform us about the role of this enzyme in development and will provide us with a tool to examine genetic modifiers of human metabolic disorders.

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