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Protein J. 2017 Dec;36(6):502-512. doi: 10.1007/s10930-017-9745-7.

Arginine Kinases from the Precious Corals Corallium rubrum and Paracorallium japonicum: Presence of Two Distinct Arginine Kinase Gene Lineages in Cnidarians.

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Laboratory of Biochemistry, Faculty of Science and Technology, Kochi University, Kochi, 780-8520, Japan.
Faculty of Geo-Environment Science, Rissho University, Magechi 1700, Kumagaya, 360-0194, Japan.
Laboratory of Biochemistry, Faculty of Science and Technology, Kochi University, Kochi, 780-8520, Japan.


The cDNA sequence of arginine kinase (AK) from the precious coral Corallium rubrum was assembled from transcriptome sequence data, and the deduced amino acid sequence of 364 residues was shown to conserve the structural features characteristic of AK. Based on the amino acid sequence, the DNA coding C. rubrum AK was synthesized by overlap extension PCR to prepare the recombinant enzyme. The following kinetic parameters were determined for the C. rubrum enzyme: K aArg (0.10 mM), K iaArg (0.79 mM), K aATP (0.23 mM), K iaATP (2.16 mM), and k cat (74.3 s-1). These are comparable with the kinetic parameters of other AKs. However, phylogenetic analysis suggested that the C. rubrum AK sequence has a distinct origin from that of other known cnidarian AKs with unusual two-domain structure. Using oligomers designed from the sequence of C. rubrum AK, the coding region of genomic DNA of another coral Paracorallium japonicum AK was successfully amplified. Although the nucleotide sequences differed between the two AKs at 14 positions in the coding region, all involved synonymous substitutions, giving the identical amino acid sequence. The P. japonicum AK gene contained one intron at a unique position compared with other cnidarian AK genes. Together with the observations from phylogenetic analysis, the comparison of exon/intron organization supports the idea that two distinct AK gene lineages are present in cnidarians. The difference in the nucleotide sequence between the coding regions of C. rubrum and P. japonicum AKs was 1.28%, which is twice that (0.54%) of mitochondrial DNA, is consistent with the general observation that the mitochondrial genome evolves slower than the nuclear one in cnidarians.


Arginine kinase; Corallium rubrum; Kinetic parameter; Paracorallium japonicum; Phosphagen kinase

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