Structure and developmental regulation of the B-lymphoid tyrosine kinase gene blk

S. M. Dymecki, P. Zwollo, K. Zeller, F. P. Kuhajda, S. V. Desiderio

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The murine blk gene, which encodes a B-lymphoid-specific tyrosine kinase of the Src family (p55(blk)), contains 13 exons that span more than 30 kilobases of DNA on chromosome 14. In the first three exons, which encode the 5'-untranslated region and N-terminal amino acid sequence unique to p55(blk), the blk gene differs from other members of the src family; in the last 10 exons, the organization of the blk gene is similar to that of other src genes. By primer extension and S1 nuclease protection analyses, we show that blk transcripts initiate from four major sites at the 5'-flank of blk; two sites predominate. The resulting transcripts differ only in the lengths of their 5'-untranslated sequences and encode identical proteins. None of the transcriptional start sites are preceded by consensus TATA elements, AT-rich elements, or extensive GC-rich regions. Expression of blk is regulated during B-cell development: blk RNA is expressed in all pro-B-, pre-B-, and mature B- cell lines examined, but is absent from plasma cell lines. Immunolocalization of p55(blk) in normal mouse spleen supports these observations: staining is restricted to lymphocytes and is concentrated in regions rich in B-cells; plasma cells and stromal cells are not stained with anti-Blk antibodies. Assays for RNA synthesis in isolated nuclei indicate that the lineage and developmental stage specificities of blk expression are regulated at least in part by changes in its rate of transcription.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4815-4823
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number7
StatePublished - 1992

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology

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