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Plant Cell. 1999 Jan;11(1):101-13.

A MAP kinase is activated late in plant mitosis and becomes localized to the plane of cell division.

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  • 1Vienna Biocenter, Institute of Microbiology and Genetics, University of Vienna, Dr. Bohrgasse 9, A-1030 Vienna, Austria. laci@gem.univie.ac.at


In eukaryotes, mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPKs) are part of signaling modules that transmit diverse stimuli, such as mitogens, developmental cues, or various stresses. Here, we report a novel alfalfa MAPK, Medicago MAP kinase 3 (MMK3). Using an MMK3-specific antibody, we detected the MMK3 protein and its associated activity only in dividing cells. The MMK3 protein could be found during all stages of the cell cycle, but its protein kinase activity was transient in mitosis and correlated with the timing of phragmoplast formation. Depolymerization of microtubules by short treatments with the drug amiprophosmethyl during anaphase and telophase abolished MMK3 activity, indicating that intact microtubules are required for MMK3 activation. During anaphase, MMK3 was found to be concentrated in between the segregating chromosomes; later, it localized at the midplane of cell division in the phragmoplast. As the phragmoplast microtubules were redistributed from the center to the periphery during telophase, MMK3 still localized to the whole plane of division; thus, phragmoplast microtubules are not required to keep MMK3 at this location. Together, these data strongly support a role for MMK3 in the regulation of plant cytokinesis.

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