Cloning and characterization of HTK, a novel transmembrane tyrosine kinase of the EPH subfamily

Brian D. Bennett, Zhengyu Wang, Wun Jing Kuang, Anlai Wang, Jerome E. Groopman, David V. Goeddel, David T. Scadden

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

66 Scopus citations


Using a polymerase chain reaction based strategy, we identified a novel transmembrane tyrosine kinase in CD34+ human bone marrow cells and a human hepatocellular carcinoma cell line, Hep3B. This protein, hepatoma transmembrane kinase or Htk, shares amino acid similarity with the EPH subfamily of tyrosine kinases. The HTK gene is located on human chromosome 7. The predicted 987-amino acid sequence of Htk includes a transmembrane region and signal sequence. In the predicted extracellular domain, a cysteine-rich region and tandem fibronectin type III repeats are present while a single uninterrupted catalytic domain is present in the intracellular domain. These features are consistent with other members of the Eph subfamily. Antibodies raised against Htk extracellular domain immunoprecipitated a 120-kDa protein from either in vitro translated HTK or Hep3B cells which localized primarily to the Hep3B membrane subcellular fraction. Purified in vitro translated Htk was enzymatically active and autophosphorylated on tyrosine in kinase assays. Furthermore, antibodies against Htk ECD were agonistic, inducing Htk tyrosine phosphorylation in transfected NIH3T3 cells. Northern blot analysis demonstrated a single HTK transcript abundantly present in placenta and in a range of primary tissues and malignant cell lines. HTK appears to be expressed in fetal but not adult brain and in primitive and myeloid but not lymphoid hematopoietic cells. The novel transmembrane protein, Htk, may function as a receptor with an expression pattern suggesting a role in events mediating differentiation and development.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)14211-14218
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number19
StatePublished - May 13 1994
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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