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Plant Cell. 1999 Jun;11(6):1179-90.

Sac3, an Snf1-like serine/threonine kinase that positively and negatively regulates the responses of Chlamydomonas to sulfur limitation.

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  • 1Department of Botany, 353 Bessey Hall, Iowa State University, Ames, Iowa 50011-1020, USA.


The Sac3 gene product of Chlamydomonas positively and negatively regulates the responses of the cell to sulfur limitation. In wild-type cells, arylsulfatase activity is detected only during sulfur limitation. The sac3 mutant expresses arylsulfatase activity even when grown in nutrient-replete medium, which suggests that the Sac3 protein has a negative effect on the induction of arylsulfatase activity. In contrast to its effect on arylsulfatase activity, Sac3 positively regulates the high-affinity sulfate transport system-the sac3 mutant is unable to fully induce high-affinity sulfate transport during sulfur limitation. We have complemented the sac3 mutant and cloned a cDNA copy of the Sac3 gene. The deduced amino acid sequence of the Sac3 gene product is similar to the catalytic domain of the yeast Snf1 family of serine/threonine kinases and is therefore classified as a Snf1-related kinase (SnRK). Specifically, Sac3 falls within the SnRK2 subfamily of kinases from vascular plants. In addition to the 11 subdomains common to Snf1-like serine/threonine kinases, Sac3 and the plant kinases have two additional subdomains and a highly acidic C-terminal region. The role of Sac3 in the signal transduction system that regulates the responses of Chlamydomonas to sulfur limitation is discussed.

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