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J Biol Chem. 1994 May 27;269(21):15092-100.

Identification and characterization of SPRK, a novel src-homology 3 domain-containing proline-rich kinase with serine/threonine kinase activity.

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Department of Cell Genetics, Genentech, Inc., South San Francisco, California 94080.


Protein kinase play important roles in the growth and differentiation of cells. We have isolated cDNA clones from the human megakaryocytic cell line CMK11-5 that encode a novel protein kinase, which we call SPRK (src-homology 3 (SH3) domain-containing proline-rich kinase). The gene sequence predicts an 847-amino acid protein kinase with a unique domain arrangement. An amino-terminal glycine-rich region is followed by an SH3 domain and a kinase domain that is similar to both tyrosine and serine/threonine kinases. Adjacent to the kinase domain are two closely spaced leucine/isoleucine zipper motifs and a stretch of basic amino acids that resembles karyophilic nuclear localization signals. The COOH-terminal half of SPRK is basic, and proline accounts for 24% of the COOH-terminal 216 amino acids. The sprk gene is widely expressed as a 4-kilobase transcript in adult and fetal human tissues. Transfection of 293 cells with a vector encoding an epitope-tagged SPRK results in the expression of a 95-kDa protein. The epitope-tagged SPRK becomes phosphorylated on serine and threonine residues in an in vitro kinase assay, whereas SPRK variants with point mutations in the predicted ATP-binding site fail to become phosphorylated. These data indicate that SPRK has serine/threonine kinase activity. The SH3 domain of SPRK is interrupted by a unique 5-amino acid insert whose location in the SH3 consensus sequence is the same as that of the inserts found in the SH3 domains of neuronal SRC and of the p85 subunit of phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase.

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