WD40 repeat proteins play important roles in a variety of cellular functions, including cell growth, proliferation, apoptosis, and intracellular signal transduction. Mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPKs) are evolutionary conserved enzymes in cell signal transduction connecting cell-surface receptors to critical regulatory targets within cells and control cell survival, adaptation, and proliferation. Previous studies revealed that G-protein coupled receptors (GPCRs) play important roles in the signal transduction from extracellular stimuli to MAPKs and the WD40-containing Gbeta proteins as well as Gbeta-like proteins are involved in the stimulation and regulation of the MAPK signaling pathways. Here we report the identification and characterization of a novel human WD40 repeat protein, WD40 repeat protein 26 (WDR26). The cDNA of WDR26 is 3,729 bp, encoding a Gbeta-like protein of 514 amino acids in the cytoplasm. The protein is highly conserved in evolution across different species from yeast, Drosophila, mouse, to human. Northern blot analysis indicates that WDR26 is expressed in most of the examined human tissues, especially at a high level in skeletal muscle. Overexpression of WDR26 in the cell inhibits the transcriptional activities of ETS proteins, ELK-1 and c-fos serum response element (SRE), mediated by MEKK1. These results suggest that WDR26 may act as a negative regulator in MAPK signaling pathway and play an important role in cell signal transduction.
Copyright 2004 Wiley-Liss, Inc.