Worm Breeder's Gazette 12(2): 44 (January 1, 1992)

These abstracts should not be cited in bibliographies. Material contained herein should be treated as personal communication and should be cited as such only with the consent of the author.

kin-8 tyrosine kinase gene may encode a nerve growth factor receptor of C. elegans

Makoto Koga, Yasumi Ohshima

Figure 1

Department of Biology, Faculty of Science, Kyushu University, Hakozaki, Fukuoka 812, Japan.

kin-8 is one of the genes for a putative receptor type tyrosine kinase of C. elegans (WBG 11, No.1, 37). Phylogenetic analysis based on amino acid sequences of the tyrosine kinase catalytic domain revealed that kin-8 belongs to a branch of human trk (high affinity nerve growth factor receptor). A phylogenetic tree constructed by Dr. Kei-ichi Kuma is shown below. Furthermore, expression of a kin-8 /lacZchimeric gene was observed strongly around the nerve ring, in ventral cord, tail ganglions, dorsal cord(?), and in pharynx to some extent. These results suggest that kin-8 may encode a receptor for a nerve growth factor (NGF) - like molecule, and that C. elegans may use an NGF-like molecule for development and/or survival of the nervous system. Based on this idea, we tried to clone a gene for NGF in the worm by PCR, but we have not succeeded so far. We are also trying to make a dominant negative kin-8 mutation by in vitro mutagenesis in order to analyze the function of the kin-8 gene.

[See Figure 1]

Figure 1