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EMBO J. Mar 17, 1997; 16(6): 1318–1331.
PMCID: PMC1169729

Spm1, a stress-activated MAP kinase that regulates morphogenesis in S.pombe.

Abstract

A gene encoding a novel MAP kinase family member, Spm1, was isolated from the fission yeast Schizosaccharomyces pombe. Overproduction of Spm1 inhibits proliferation. Disruption of the spm1+ gene interferes with cell separation and morphogenesis. Under conditions of nutrient limitation, hypertonic stress or elevated temperature, spm1 delta cells grow as short branched filaments in which the cell walls and septa are thickened, suggesting defects in polarized growth and cell wall remodeling. At high osmolarity, spm1 delta cells fail to form colonies. The Spm1 protein is tyrosine phosphorylated and activated in response to osmotic and heat stress, consistent with a role for Spm1 in adaptation to these conditions. Two other S.pombe MAP kinases are known, Spk1, required for sexual differentiation and sporulation, and Spc1/Sty1/Phh1, which is activated in hypertonic conditions. However, the distinctive features of the spm1 delta mutant phenotype and direct biochemical assays suggest that Spm1 does not lie on other known MAP kinase pathways. Our results demonstrate the existence of a new MAP kinase pathway that regulates cell wall remodeling and cytokinesis in response to environmental stresses.

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Selected References

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