The 2;5 chromosomal translocation is frequently associated with anaplastic large cell lymphomas (ALCLs). The translocation creates a fusion gene consisting of the ALK (anaplastic lymphoma kinase) gene and the nucleophosmin (NPM) gene: the 3' half of ALK, derived from chromosome 2, is fused to the 5' portion of NPM from chromosome 5. A recent study shows that the product of the NPM-ALK fusion gene is oncogenic. The deduced amino acid sequences reveal that ALK is a novel receptor protein-tyrosine kinase having a putative transmembrane domain and an extracellular domain. These sequences are absent in the product of the transforming NPM-ALK gene. ALK shows the greatest sequence similarity to LTK (leukocyte tyrosine kinase). ALK plays an important role in the development of the brain and exerts its effects on specific neurons in the nervous system. [provided by RefSeq].
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