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Mamm Genome. 1996 Nov;7(11):810-4.

Isolation of a cDNA encoding the rat MAP-kinase homolog of human p63mapk.

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Departamento de Bioquímica, Universidad de Navarra, Pamplona, Spain.


Using a combination of screening, RACE, and RT-PCR, we have isolated a new rat brain cDNA, we refer to as rMNK2, that showed strong homology to known MAP-kinases. The deduced amino acid sequence of rMNK2 indicated that it is the rat homolog of human p63(mapk), showing 94.5% identity. rMNK2 showed 77% homology with rat ERK3 and its human homolog p97(mapk), and 43% homology with both rat genes rMNK1(ERK1) and ERK2, within the kinase domain. This suggest that rMNK2 and ERK3 belong to a separate subfamily within the rat MAP-kinase multigene family. The most interesting difference lies in subdomain VIII, where this new subfamily contain a SEG/SPR motif instead of the TEY/APE found in the ERK subfamily, the TPY/APE found in the JNK/SAPK subfamily or the TGY/APE found in the p38/RK subfamily. The human homologs of ERK3 and rMNK2 (p97(mapk) and p63(mapk)) also show this significant change. Expression of rMNK2 has been detected in brain and to a lesser extent in lung by reverse transcription/PCR (RT-PCR). In situ hybridization of rat brain slices demonstrated a restricted expression of rMNK2 in the choroid plexus and hippocampus. This is interesting because the human homolog p63(mapk) maps to 18q12-21, a region that might be implicated in manic-depressive illness.

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