Molecular characterization of the creatine kinases and some historical perspectives

Wenning Qin, Zaza Khuchua, Judy Cheng, Jaime Boero, R. Mark Payne, Arnold W. Strauss

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

42 Scopus citations


Over the last 15 years, molecular characterization of the creatine kinase (CK) gene family has paralleled the molecular revolution of understanding gene structure, function, and regulation. In this review, we present a summary of advances in molecular analysis of the CK gene family with a few vignettes of historical interest. We describe how the muscle CK gene provided an essential model system to examine myogenic regulatory mechanisms, leading to the discovery of the binding site for the MyoD family of basic helix-loop-helix transcription factors essential in skeletal myogenesis and the characterization of the MEF2 family of factors with an A/T rich consensus binding site essential in skeletal myogenesis and cardiogenesis. Cloning and characterization of the four mRNAs and nuclear genes encoding the cytosolic CKs, muscle and brain CKs, and the mitochondrial (Mt) CKs, sarcomeric MtCK and ubiquitous MtCK, has allowed intriguing study of tissue-specific and cell-specific expression of the different CKs and analysis of structural, functional, regulatory, and evolutionary relationships among both the four CK proteins and genes. Current and future studies focus on understanding both cellular energetics facilitated by the CK enzymes, especially energy channelling from the site of production, the mitochondrial matrix and inner membrane, to various cytosolic foci of utilization, and regulation of MtCK gene expression at the cell and tissue-specific level as models of regulation of energy producing genes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)153-167
Number of pages15
JournalMolecular and Cellular Biochemistry
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - Sep 8 1998
Externally publishedYes


  • Creatine kinase
  • Energy
  • Gene family
  • Mitochondrion
  • Myogenesis
  • Transcription factors

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Cell Biology

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  • Cite this

    Qin, W., Khuchua, Z., Cheng, J., Boero, J., Payne, R. M., & Strauss, A. W. (1998). Molecular characterization of the creatine kinases and some historical perspectives. Molecular and Cellular Biochemistry, 184(1-2), 153-167.