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Oncogene. 1995 Nov 16;11(10):2085-95.

Cloning, characterization, and differential expression of MDK2 and MDK5, two novel receptor tyrosine kinases of the eck/eph family.

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Department of Molecular Biology, Max-Planck-Institut für Biochemie, Martinsried, Germany.


Using a polymerase chain reaction-based strategy for the cloning of developmentally regulated receptor tyrosine kinases, we identified two novel members of the eck/eph-related subfamily which, in analogy with the recently identified mouse developmental kinase 1 (MDK1), were designated MDK2 and MDK5. MDK2 is highly homologous to the mouse kinase Myk-1 and the human kinase Htk, whereas MDK5 represents the mouse homologue of human Hek2. Northern blot analyses of adult mouse tissues revealed a 4.7 kb transcript of MDK2 and a 4.8 kb transcript of MDK5 in various organ systems, including lung, liver, kidney, intestine, muscle, heart, and, in the case of MDK5, also the brain. In addition to the full-length transcripts, smaller fragments were identified that probably represent truncated receptors. Northern blot analysis and in situ hybridization of mouse embryos indicated abundant expression during embryonic development, with preferential involvement of tissues of epithelial and endothelial origin for both kinases and of the spinal cord gray matter for MDK5. Unlike most other members of the eck/eph-related subfamily, the expression of MDK2 and MDK5 is not primarily restricted to neuronal structures, and their abundant presence in various organ systems during embryonic development suggests an important role in gestational growth and differentiation.

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