The genes encoding P68 and P65 (PRKR), the human and mouse interferon- inducible dsRNA-dependent protein kinases, respectively, have been mapped to a single locus on human chromosome 2 (band p21) and on mouse chromosome 17 (band E2). These kinases have been implicated in the antiviral response mediated by interferon since their activation by virus-specific dsRNAs can lead to the inhibition of protein synthesis. Recently we have shown that the dsRNA-dependent kinase also may function as a tumor suppressor gene since defective mutant proteins induced malignant transformation. Identification of the chromosomal location of human PRKR permitted a survey of translocations, deletions, or other rearrangement events involving this segment of chromosome 2 in a variety of human malignancies. Finally, our results define a new region of conservation between the distal part of the short arm of chromosome 2 (band p21) and band E2 of mouse chromosome 17.
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