Mutations in the unc-104 gene of the nematode C. elegans result in uncoordinated and slow movement. Transposon insertions in three unc-104 alleles (e2184, rh 1016, and rh1017) were used as physical markers to clone the unc-104 gene. DNA sequence analysis of unc-104 cDNAs revealed an open reading frame capable of encoding a 1584 amino acid protein with similarities to kinesin heavy chain. The similarities are greatest in the aminoterminal ATPase and microtubule-binding domains. Although the primary sequence relatedness to kinesin is weak in the remainder of the molecule, the predicted secondary structure and regional isoelectric points are similar to kinesin heavy chain.
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