Serine/threonine kinase ROCK II/Rho kinase, which is an isozyme of ROCK I, is one of the targets for the small GTPase Rho. ROCK II regulates the formation of actin stress fibers and focal adhesions, cytokinesis, smooth muscle contraction, and the activation of c-fos serum response element. To elucidate the role of ROCK II in human disease, we have cloned a 4363-bp cDNA encoding human ROCK II. Sequencing analysis has shown that human ROCK II contains 1388 amino acid residues with a calculated molecular mass of approximately 161 kDa. Fluorescence in situ hybridization analysis showed that the human ROCK II gene is located on chromosome 2p24. Radiation hybrid mapping has shown that the human ROCK II gene is located very close to the highly polymorphic marker D2S359.
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