Dev Biol 2006 Dec 12;300(1):180-93. Epub 2006 Sep 12.
DCMB Group, Duke University, Box 91000, Durham, NC 27708, USA.
This paper reports a preliminary in silico analysis of the sea urchin kinome. The predicted protein kinases in the sea urchin genome were identified, annotated and classified, according to both function and kinase domain taxonomy. The results show that the sea urchin kinome, consisting of 353 protein kinases, is closer to the Drosophila kinome (239) than the human kinome (518) with respect to total kinase number. However, the diversity of sea urchin kinases is surprisingly similar to humans, since the urchin kinome is missing only 4 of 186 human subfamilies, while Drosophila lacks 24. Thus, the sea urchin kinome combines the simplicity of a non-duplicated genome with the diversity of function and signaling previously considered to be vertebrate-specific. More than half of the sea urchin kinases are involved with signal transduction, and approximately 88% of the signaling kinases are expressed in the developing embryo. These results support the strength of this nonchordate deuterostome as a pivotal developmental and evolutionary model organism.