Thymidine Kinase

Thymidine kinase is an enzyme, a phosphotransferase (a kinase): 2'-deoxythymidine kinase, ATP-thymidine 5'-phosphotransferase, EC It can be found in most living cells. It is present in two forms in mammalian cells, TK1 and TK2. Certain viruses also have genetic information for expression of viral thymidine kinases.

Thymidine kinase catalyses the reaction:

  • Thd + ATP → TMP + ADP

where Thd is deoxythymidine, ATP is adenosine 5’-triphosphate, TMP is deoxythymidine 5’-phosphate and ADP is adenosine 5’-diphosphate.

Thymidine kinases have a key function in the synthesis of DNA and thereby in cell division, as they are part of the unique reaction chain to introduce deoxythymidine into the DNA. Deoxythymidine is present in the body fluids as a result of degradation of DNA from food and from dead cells. Thymidine kinase is required for the action of many antiviral drugs. It is used to select hybridoma cell lines in production of monoclonal antibodies. In clinical chemistry it is used as a proliferation marker in the diagnosis, control of treatment and follow-up of malignant disease, mainly of hematological malignancies.

Read more about Thymidine KinaseHistory, Classification, Biochemistry, Physiological Context

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