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Cell Growth Differ. 1994 Jun;5(6):647-57.

Cloning and mRNA expression analysis of a novel human protooncogene, c-mer.

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  • 1Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill 27599-7295.

Erratum in

  • Cell Growth Differ 1994 Sep;5(9):1022.


A human B-lymphoblastoid lambda gt11 expression library was screened using anti-phosphotyrosine antibodies yielding complementary DNAs encoding active tyrosine kinases. The resulting clones were used to obtain the sequence of a novel 984 amino acid transmembrane tyrosine kinase. Analysis of the complementary DNA revealed extracellular immunoglobulin and fibronectin type III domains and the unusual kinase signature sequence KWIAIES; all are characteristic of the axl family of tyrosine kinases. The novel tyrosine kinase was not expressed in normal B- and T-lymphocytes but, unlike axl, was expressed in numerous neoplastic B- and T-cell lines. Transcripts for the novel receptor-like tyrosine kinase were detected in normal peripheral blood monocytes and bone marrow. One alternatively spliced transcript was detected which contained an insert in the membrane proximal region that could encode for a truncated, soluble receptor. Sequence comparison shows that the kinase may be the human protooncogene for the recently isolated chicken retroviral oncogene v-ryk (recently renamed v-eyk), a truncated tyrosine kinase whose expression by retroviral infection produced sarcomas in chickens. The intracellular domain of the human kinase shows 83% similarity and 71% identity to v-ryk. Since the ryk designation has been used to name another tyrosine kinase and an analysis of RNA expression demonstrated that this novel human kinase is expressed in monocytes and tissues of epithelial and reproductive origin, we have designated our novel protooncogene c-mer.

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