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Mol Cell Biol. 1989 Sep;9(9):3850-9.

Sequence and expression of chicken and mouse rsk: homologs of Xenopus laevis ribosomal S6 kinase.

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Department of Cellular and Developmental Biology, Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts 02138.


We have previously reported the isolation of cDNAs encoding two closely related Xenopus ribosomal S6 kinases, S6KII alpha and -beta (S. W. Jones, E. Erikson, J. Blenis, J. L. Maller, and R. L. Erikson, Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 85:3377-3381, 1988). We report here the molecular cloning of one chicken and two mouse homologs of the Xenopus laevis cDNAs. As described for the Xenopus proteins, these cDNAs were found to predict polypeptides that contain two distinct kinase domains, of which one is most closely related to the catalytic subunit of cyclic AMP-dependent protein kinase and the other is most closely related to the catalytic subunit of phosphorylase b kinase. The three predicted proteins were more than 79% identical to the Xenopus S6KII alpha protein. The chicken and one of the mouse cDNAs were, respectively, 3.7 and 3.1 kilobase pairs in length, predicted proteins of 752 and 724 amino acids with molecular weights of 84.4 and 81.6 kilodaltons, and hybridized to mRNAs in fibroblasts and tissues of approximately 3.6 and 3.4 kilobases (kb). The second mouse cDNA was approximately 6.1 kilobase pairs and was not full length but predicted the C-terminal 633 amino acids of a protein that is similar to the C-terminal portion of Xenopus S6KII alpha. This clone hybridized to mRNA transcripts of 7.6 and 3.4 kb. In vitro transcription and translation of the chicken and the mouse cDNAs that predict complete proteins produced major products with apparent molecular weights of 96 and 84 kilodaltons. Analysis of mRNA levels in chicken tissues showed significant quantities of the 3.6-kb transcript in small and large intestine, spleen, and bursa. Both mouse cDNA were similarly expressed at significant levels in intestine, thymus, and lung; however, the 7.6-kb mRNA was differentially and more highly expressed in heart and brain. The two mouse cDNAs represent two different S6 kinase genes, as shown by comparison of their protein sequences, mRNA transcript sizes, genomic organizations, and nucleic acid sequences. We propose that this family of genes be named rsk, for ribosomal S6 kinase.

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