Expression of the MAST family of serine/threonine kinases

Brain Res. 2008 Feb 21;1195:12-9. doi: 10.1016/j.brainres.2007.12.027. Epub 2007 Dec 23.


The Microtubule-Associated Serine/Threonine Kinase family (MAST1-4, and MAST-like) is characterised by the presence of a serine/threonine kinase domain and a postsynaptic density protein-95/discs large/zona occludens-1 domain (PDZ). This latter domain gives the MAST family the capacity to scaffold its own kinase activity. In the present study we have profiled the mRNA for each member of the MAST family transcripts across various tissues, with particular focus on rodent brain. Reverse-transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) has shown equivalent patterns of expression for MAST1 and 2 in multiple tissues. Both MAST3 and 4 show more distinct expression in several tissues, and MAST-like appears to be predominantly expressed in heart and testis. In situ hybridisation reveals overlapping expression of MAST1 and 2 in specific brain regions. In contrast, MAST3 shows selective expression in the striatum and cerebral cortex. MAST4 also exhibits distinct expression in oligodendrocytes of white matter containing brain regions. In keeping with previous results, this family member also shows increased expression in the hippocampus following seizure-like activity. Our analysis of MAST family expression provides support for the role of these kinases in a broad range of neural functions.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Brain / enzymology*
  • Gene Expression Profiling*
  • Male
  • Microtubule-Associated Proteins / genetics
  • Microtubule-Associated Proteins / metabolism*
  • Myocardium / enzymology
  • Protein-Serine-Threonine Kinases / genetics
  • Protein-Serine-Threonine Kinases / metabolism*
  • RNA, Messenger / analysis
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar
  • Signal Transduction / physiology
  • Testis / enzymology
  • Tissue Distribution


  • Microtubule-Associated Proteins
  • RNA, Messenger
  • Protein-Serine-Threonine Kinases