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Nature. 1990 Jun 21;345(6277):743-6.

Relationship of a putative receptor protein kinase from maize to the S-locus glycoproteins of Brassica.

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Division of Biological Sciences, University of Missouri, Columbia 65211.


The protein kinase family of enzymes mediates the responses of eukaryotic cells to both inter- and intracellular signals. These enzymes are either serine/threonine-specific or tyrosine-specific. Many of the latter are transmembrane receptors and are important in transduction of extracellular signals across the plasma membrane, whereas few examples of receptor serine kinases have been reported. We have now identified a complementary DNA clone from Zea mays (L.) encoding a putative serine/threonine-specific protein kinase structurally related to the receptor tyrosine kinases. This structural similarity is evidence for a previously undescribed class of transmembrane receptor in higher plants likely to be involved in signal reception and transduction. Furthermore, the catalytic domain of this protein kinase is linked through a transmembrane domain to an extracellular domain similar to that of glycoproteins encoded in the self-incompatibility locus of Brassica which are involved in the self-recognition system between pollen and stigma.

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