B lymphocytes which reside in the germinal center region of lymphoid follicles are functionally and phenotypically distinct from the surrounding mantle zone B cells. We have isolated cDNA clones for several genes that are differentially expressed between these two populations of B lymphocytes. One such gene, BL44, is preferentially expressed in germinal center B cells. The nucleotide sequence of a 2,874-base pair BL44 cDNA was determined and a 2,451-bp open reading frame found that encodes for a 97-kDa serine/threonine protein kinase referred to as GC kinase. It has an NH2-terminal catalytic domain most similar to that of the Drosophila NinaC protein and the yeast STE20 protein. GC kinase mRNA transcripts are not unique to germinal center B cells and are found in several other tissues, including brain, lung, and placenta. The GC kinase protein was immunoprecipitated from transfected COS cells and from the Burkitt cell line RAMOS. GC kinase immunoprecipitated from transfected COS cells phosphorylated the substrates casein and myelin basic protein. In addition, a 97-kDa phosphoprotein likely to be GC kinase itself was detected. GC kinase may participate in an important signal transduction pathway in germinal center B cells.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||8|
|Journal||Journal of Biological Chemistry|
|State||Published - 1994|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Molecular Biology
- Cell Biology