A phosphatidylinositol (PtdIns) 4-kinase cDNA cloned from a rat brain cDNA library encoded a protein of 816 amino acids with a calculated molecular mass of 91654 Da. This molecule contained a lipid-kinase-unique domain and a presumed lipid/protein kinase homology domain that are found in other PtdIns 4-kinases and PtdIns 3-kinases. Furthermore, this kinase molecule had 43.3% shared identity with the presumed catalytic domain of yeast PtdIns 4-kinase, PtdInsK1, and the two molecules had a region of similarity that is not conserved in other lipid kinases. By examining PtdIns kinase activity in transfected COS-7 cells using epitope tag immunoprecipitation as well as conventional methods, the product PtdIns phosphate was identified as phosphatidylinositol 4-phosphate (PtdIns4P), but not phosphatidylinositol 3-phosphate (PtdIns3P). The PtdIns 4-kinase activity was recovered predominantly from the soluble fraction and the activity was markedly enhanced in the presence of Triton X-100 and was relatively insensitive to inhibition by adenosine. In addition, the PtdIns 4-kinase activity was completely inhibited in the presence of 10 µM wortmannin. When examined by epitope tag immunocytochemistry, the immunoreactivity for the PtdIns 4-kinase molecule was dominantly aggregated in a cytoplasmic region juxtaposed to the nuclei and was faintly but widely dispersed in the cytoplasm. By in situ hybridization analysis, the mRNA for PtdIns 4-kinase was expressed ubiquitously and was detected in most neurons throughout the grey matter of the brain, with higher expression intensity found in fetal than in adult brain.

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