Animal deoxyribonucleoside kinases: 'forward' and 'retrograde' evolution of their substrate specificity

Jure Piskur, Michael P Sandrini, Wolfgang Knecht, Birgitte Munch-Petersen

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    Deoxyribonucleoside kinases, which catalyse the phosphorylation of deoxyribonucleosides, are present in several copies in most multicellular organisms and therefore represent an excellent model to study gene duplication and specialisation of the duplicated copies through partitioning of substrate specificity. Recent studies suggest that in the animal lineage one of the progenitor kinases, the so-called dCK/dGK/TK2-like gene, was duplicated prior to separation of the insect and mammalian lineages. Thereafter, insects lost all but one kinase, dNK (EC, which subsequently, through remodelling of a limited number of amino acid residues, gained a broad substrate specificity.
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalFEBS Letters
    Issue number1-3
    Pages (from-to)3-6
    Publication statusPublished - 2004


    • deoxyribonucleoside
    • kinase
    • thymidine
    • evolution
    • specificity
    • gene duplication

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