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Mol Cell. 2001 May;7(5):1095-101.

Genetic and molecular characterization of Skb15, a highly conserved inhibitor of the fission yeast PAK, Shk1.

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  • 1Department of Molecular Genetics, University of Texas, M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, 1515 Holcombe Blvd., Houston, TX 77030, USA.


The p21-activated kinase, Shk1, is essential for viability, establishment and maintenance of cell polarity, and proper mating response in the fission yeast, Schizosaccharomyces pombe. Here we describe the characterization of a highly conserved, WD repeat protein, Skb15, which negatively regulates Shk1 in fission yeast. A null mutation in the skb15 gene is lethal and results in deregulation of actin polymerization and localization, microtubule biogenesis, and the cytokinetic machinery, as well as a substantial uncoupling of these processes from the cell cycle. Loss of Skb15 function is suppressed by partial loss of Shk1, demonstrating that negative regulation of Shk1 by Skb15 is required for proper execution of cytoskeletal remodeling and cytokinetic functions. A mouse homolog of Skb15 can substitute for its counterpart in fission yeast, demonstrating that Skb15 protein function has been substantially conserved through evolution.

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