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Comp Biochem Physiol B Biochem Mol Biol. 2013 May;165(1):42-8. doi: 10.1016/j.cbpb.2013.03.003. Epub 2013 Mar 14.

A novel taurocyamine kinase found in the protist Phytophthora infestans.

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


Phosphagen kinase (PK), which is typically in the form of creatine kinase (CK; EC in vertebrates or arginine kinase (AK; EC in invertebrates, plays a key role in ATP buffering systems of tissues and nerves that display high and variable rates of ATP turnover. The enzyme is also found with intermittent occurrence as AK in unicellular organisms, protist and bacteria species, suggesting an ancient origin of AK. Through a database search, we identified two novel PK genes, coding 40- and 80-kDa (contiguous dimer) enzymes in the protist Phytophthora infestans. Both enzymes showed strong activity for taurocyamine and, in addition, we detected taurocyamine in cell extracts of P. infestans. Thus, the enzyme was identified to be taurocyamine kinase (TK; EC This was the first phosphagen kinase, other than AK, to be found in unicellular organisms. Their position on the phylogenetic tree indicates that P. infestans TKs evolved uniquely at an early stage of evolution. Occurrence of TK in protists suggests that PK enzymes show flexible substrate specificity.

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