A novel Ca2+/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase and a male germ cell-specific calmodulin-binding protein are derived from the same gene.
A cDNA representing a unique Ca2+/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase has been cloned and sequenced from a rat brain cDNA library. This enzyme, expressed in brain, testis, and spleen, is only 32% identical to the various isoforms of Ca2+/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase II. The sequence of the COOH-terminal 169 amino acids is identical to that of a previously described male germ cell-specific calmodulin-binding protein called calspermin (T. Ono, G.R. Slaughter, R.G. Cook, and A.R. Means, J. Biol. Chem. 264:2081-2087, 1989). This identity extends to the nucleic acid sequence and includes all but the first 130 nucleotides of the calspermin cDNA. Primer extension and sequence of a genomic fragment containing the unique calspermin sequence reveals that this mRNA is derived from the kinase transcription unit by germ cell-specific use of a unique exon. In situ hybridization was used to demonstrate that both kinase and calspermin mRNAs are expressed during spermatogenesis. The kinase mRNA is first detected in early meiotic cells and declines to a low level in haploid cells. Calspermin mRNA first appears in pachytene primary spermatocytes and continues to increase as cells complete meiosis and undergo terminal differentiation. These results show that differential utilization of a single gene during spermatogenesis is used to generate mRNAs that encode proteins with distinct functions.
Means, AR; Cruzalegui, F; LeMagueresse, B; Needleman, DS; Slaughter, GR; Ono, T
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