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Zoolog Sci. 2010 Oct;27(10):796-803. doi: 10.2108/zsj.27.796.

Arginine kinase from the Tardigrade, Macrobiotus occidentalis: molecular cloning, phylogenetic analysis and enzymatic properties.

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Laboratories of Biochemistry, Faculty of Science, Kochi University, Kochi 780-8520, Japan.


Arginine kinase (AK), which catalyzes the reversible transfer of phosphate from ATP to arginine to yield phosphoarginine and ADP, is widely distributed throughout the invertebrates. We determined the cDNA sequence of AK from the tardigrade (water bear) Macrobiotus occidentalis, cloned the sequence into pET30b plasmid, and expressed it in Escherichia coli as a 6x His-tag—fused protein. The cDNA is 1377 bp, has an open reading frame of 1080 bp, and has 5′- and 3′-untranslated regions of 116 and 297 bp, respectively. The open reading frame encodes a 359-amino acid protein containing the 12 residues considered necessary for substrate binding in Limulus AK. This is the first AK sequence from a tardigrade. From fragmented and non-annotated sequences available from DNA databases, we assembled 46 complete AK sequences: 26 from arthropods (including 19 from Insecta), 11 from nematodes, 4 from mollusks, 2 from cnidarians and 2 from onychophorans. No onychophoran sequences have been reported previously. The phylogenetic trees of 104 AKs indicated clearly that Macrobiotus AK (from the phylum Tardigrada) shows close affinity with Epiperipatus and Euperipatoides AKs (from the phylum Onychophora), and therefore forms a sister group with the arthropod AKs. Recombinant 6x His-tagged Macrobiotus AK was successfully expressed as a soluble protein, and the kinetic constants (K(m), K(d), V(ma) and k(cat)) were determined for the forward reaction. Comparison of these kinetic constants with those of AKs from other sources (arthropods, mollusks and nematodes) indicated that Macrobiotus AK is unique in that it has the highest values for k(cat) and K(d)K(m) (indicative of synergistic substrate binding) of all characterized AKs.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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