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cGMP-dependent protein kinases (cGK) are serine/threonine kinases that are widely distributed in eukaryotes. Two genes--prkg1 and prkg2--code for cGKs, namely cGKI and cGKII. In mammals, two isozymes, cGKIalpha and cGKIbeta, are generated from the prkg1 gene. The cGKI isozymes are prominent in all types of smooth muscle, platelets, and specific neuronal areas such as cerebellar Purkinje cells, hippocampal neurons, and the lateral amygdala. The cGKII prevails in the secretory epithelium of the small intestine, the juxta-glomerular cells, the adrenal cortex, the chondrocytes, and in the nucleus suprachiasmaticus. Both cGKs are major downstream effectors of many, but not all signalling events of the NO/cGMP and the ANP/cGMP pathways. cGKI relaxes smooth muscle tone and prevents platelet aggregation, whereas cGKII inhibits renin secretion, chloride/water secretion in the small intestine, the resetting of the clock during early night, and endochondreal bone growth. cGKs are also modulators of cell growth and many other functions.


Franz Hofmann, Dominik Bernhard, Robert Lukowski, Pascal Weinmeister. cGMP regulated protein kinases (cGK). Handbook of experimental pharmacology. 2009(191):137-62

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PMID: 19089329

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