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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1993 Jan 15;90(2):452-6.

A dominant truncation allele identifies a gene, STE20, that encodes a putative protein kinase necessary for mating in Saccharomyces cerevisiae.

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  • 1Department of Biochemistry, Stanford University School of Medicine, CA 94305.


This work reports the identification, characterization, and nucleotide sequence of STE20, a newly discovered gene involved in the Saccharomyces cerevisiae mating response pathway, to date one of the best understood signal transduction pathways. STE20 encodes a putative serine/threonine-specific protein kinase with a predicted molecular mass of 102 kDa. Its expression pattern is similar to that of several other protein kinases in the mating response pathway. Deletion of the kinase domain of STE20 causes sterility in both haploid mating types. This sterility can be partially suppressed by high-level production of STE12 but is not suppressible by high levels of STE4 or a dominant STE11 truncation allele. A truncation allele of STE20 was isolated that can activate the mating response pathway in the absence of exogenous mating pheromone. This allele causes dominant growth arrest that cannot be suppressed by deletions of STE4, STE5, STE7, STE11, or STE12. The allele is able to suppress the mating defect of a strain in which the STE20 kinase domain has been deleted, but not the mating defects of strains carrying mutations in STE4, STE5, STE7, STE11, or STE12.

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