Gene targeting of CK2 catalytic subunits
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- Seldin, D.C., Lou, D.Y., Toselli, P. et al. Mol Cell Biochem (2008) 316: 141. doi:10.1007/s11010-008-9811-8
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Protein kinase CK2 is a highly conserved and ubiquitous serine–threonine kinase. It is a tetrameric enzyme that is made up of two regulatory CK2β subunits and two catalytic subunits, either CK2α/CK2α, CK2α/CK2α′, or CK2α′/CK2α′. Although the two catalytic subunits diverge in their C termini, their enzymatic activities are similar. To identify the specific function of the two catalytic subunits in development, we have deleted them individually from the mouse genome by homologous recombination. We have previously reported that CK2α′ is essential for male germ cell development, and we now demonstrate that CK2α has an essential role in embryogenesis, as mice lacking CK2α die in mid-embryogenesis, with cardiac and neural tube defects.