Identification and characterization of a lymphocytic Rho-GTPase effector: rhotekin-2 Academic Article uri icon


  • Rhotekin belongs to the group of proteins containing a Rho-binding domain that are target peptides (effectors) for the Rho-GTPases. We previously identified a novel cDNA with homology to human rhotekin and in this study we cloned and characterized the coding region of this novel 12-exon gene. The ORF encodes a 609 amino-acid protein comprising a Class I Rho-binding domain and pleckstrin homology (PH) domain. Cellular cDNA expression of this new protein, designated Rhotekin-2 (RTKN2), was shown in the cytosol and nucleus of CHO cells. Using bioinformatics and RTPCR we identified three major splice variants, which vary in both the Rho-binding and PH domains. Real-time PCR studies showed exclusive RTKN2 expression in pooled lymphocytes and further purification indicated sole expression in CD4(pos) T-cells and bone marrow-derived B-cells. Gene expression was increased in quiescent T-cells but negligible in activated proliferating cells. In malignant samples expression was absent in myeloid leukaemias, low in most B-cell malignancies and CD8(pos) T-cell malignancies, but very high in CD4(pos)/CD8(pos) T-lymphoblastic lymphoma. As the Rho family is critical in lymphocyte development and function, RTKN2 may play an important role in lymphopoiesis.

publication date

  • November 2004

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