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J Biol Chem. 1992 Aug 5;267(22):16000-6.

Expression of TTK, a novel human protein kinase, is associated with cell proliferation.

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Oncology Research, Toronto General Hospital, Ontario, Canada.


We have isolated the full-length sequence for a unique human kinase, designated TTK. TTK was initially identified by screening of a T cell expression library with anti-phosphotyrosine antibodies. The kinases most closely related to TTK are the SPK1 serine, threonine and tyrosine kinase, the Pim1, PBS2, and CDC2 serine/threonine kinases, and the TIK kinase which was also identified through screening of an expression library with anti-phosphotyrosine antibodies. However, the relationships are distant with less than 25% identity. Nevertheless, TTK is highly conserved throughout phylogeny with hybridizing sequences being detected in mammals, fish, and yeast. TTK mRNA is present at relatively high levels in testis and thymus, tissues which contain a large number of proliferating cells, but is not detected in most other benign tissues. Freshly isolated cells from most malignant tumors assessed expressed TTK mRNA. As well, all rapidly proliferating cell lines tested expressed TTK mRNA. Escherichia coli expressing the complete kinase domain of TTK contain markedly elevated levels of phosphoserine and phosphothreonine as well as slightly increased levels of phosphotyrosine. Taken together, these findings suggest that expression of TTK, a previously unidentified member of the family of kinases which can phosphorylate serine, threonine, and tyrosine hydroxyamino acids, is associated with cell proliferation.

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