By serological screening of a breast tumor cDNA library we have identified a novel human gene, tnkl, encoding an ankyrin-related protein with a high degree of similarity to tankyrase, the poly(ADP-ribose)polymerase associated with human telomeres (Smith et al, Science 282: 1484). The tnkl gene maps to chromosome 10, while the tnks gene encoding tankyrase is located on chromosome 8. The predicted 1166-aa protein product of the tnkl gene is 78% identical to human tankyrase and 62% to a putative D. melanogaster protein. Since the proteins have essentially identical domain structures, the corresponding genes form a distinct gene family. The possible link between TNKL and cancer justifies its further functional analysis.
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