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Mol Microbiol. 2002 Apr;44(2):325-34.

The p21-activated kinase, Shk1, is required for proper regulation of microtubule dynamics in the fission yeast, Schizosaccharomyces pombe.

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

Abstract

The p21-activated kinase, Shk1, is required for the proper establishment of cell polarity in the fission yeast, Schizosaccharomyces pombe. We showed recently that loss of the essential Shk1 inhibitor, Skb15, causes significant spindle defects in fission yeast, thus implicating Shk1 as a potential regulator of microtubule dynamics. Here, we show that cells deficient in Shk1 function have malformed interphase microtubules and mitotic microtubule spindles, are hypersensitive to the microtubule-destabilizing drug thiabendazole (TBZ) and cold sensitive for growth. TBZ treatment causes a downregulation of Shk1 kinase activity, which increases rapidly after release of cells from the drug, thus providing a correlation between Shk1 kinase function and active microtubule polymerization. Consistent with a role for Shk1 as a regulator of microtubule dynamics, green fluorescent protein (GFP)-Shk1 fusion proteins localize to interphase microtubules and mitotic microtubule spindles, as well as to cell ends and septum-forming regions of fission yeast cells. We show that loss of Tea1, a cell end- and microtubule-localized protein previously implicated as a regulator of microtubule dynamics in fission yeast, exacerbates the growth and microtubule defects resulting from partial loss of Shk1 and that Shk1 localizes to illicit growth tips produced by tea1 mutant cells. Our results demonstrate that Shk1 is required for the proper regulation of microtubule dynamics in fission yeast and implicate Tea1 as a potential Shk1 regulator.

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