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J Biomed Sci. 1998;5(2):135-40.

From mosquito to man: identification of a novel protein kinase, HsHPK, which is highly expressed in human hepatoma tissues.

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Institute of Genetics, National Yang-Ming University, Taipei, Taiwan, ROC.


Protein kinases play an important role in the signaling pathway of growth factors in most of the higher organisms. During the study of protein kinase profiles of mosquitoes using RT-PCR and degenerate primers for consensus catalytic domain motifs to amplify protein kinase genes, we have noticed that a novel mosquito kinase, AaPK-38, shares a stretch of amino acids identical to the corresponding domain in Tousled gene of Arabidopsis thaliana that is required for leaf and flower development. A 2.1-kb cDNA encoding human HsHPK gene, which is a homolog of AaPK-38, was isolated from human testis cDNA library. This cDNA contains an open reading frame of 563 amino acids, with a complete kinase domain in its carboxyl terminus. The expressed Flag-tagged HsHPK was shown to have kinase activity based on in vitro autophosphorylation. Northern blot analysis revealed that human HsHPK mRNA is most abundant in testes, much less in heart and skeletal muscle and almost undetectable in liver and lung. Finally, we found that the expression of HsHPK in 4 out of 6 human hepatoma tissues is much higher than that in the adjacent normal counterpart. This result suggests HsHPK may play a role in the development of human hepatoma.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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