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Plant Cell Physiol. 2010 Oct;51(10):1766-76. doi: 10.1093/pcp/pcq135. Epub 2010 Aug 27.

HINKEL kinesin, ANP MAPKKKs and MKK6/ANQ MAPKK, which phosphorylates and activates MPK4 MAPK, constitute a pathway that is required for cytokinesis in Arabidopsis thaliana.

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Division of Biological Science, Graduate School of Science, Nagoya University, Chikusa-ku, Nagoya 464-8602, Japan.


Cytokinesis is regulated to ensure the precise partitioning of cytoplasm and duplicated chromosomes to daughter cells. The NACK-PQR pathway, which includes NACK1 kinesin-like protein (KLP) and a mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) cascade, plays a key role in cytokinesis in tobacco cells. Although HINKEL/AtNACK1 (HIK) KLP, ANP MAP kinase kinase kinases (MAPKKKs) and MKK6/ ANQ MAP kinase kinase (MAPKK) have been identified independently as regulators of cytokinesis in Arabidopsis thaliana, the involvement of HIK, ANPs and MKK6/ANQ in a regulatory cascade remains to be demonstrated. Here we provide details of the protein kinase pathway that controls cytokinesis in A. thaliana. Analysis of the subcellular distribution of six MAPKKs of A. thaliana that had been fused to green fluorescent protein revealed that only MKK6/ANQ protein was concentrated at the equatorial plane of the phragmoplast, at the site of localization of HIK. Expression of MKK6/ANQ in yeast cells replaced the growth-control function of the MAPKK encoded by yeast PBS2, provided that both ANP1 MAPKKK and HIK [or TETRASPORE/AtNACK2 (TES)] KLP were coexpressed, suggesting that ANP1 activates MKK6/ANQ in the presence of HIK (or TES). Coexpression of HIK and ANP3 (another member of the ANP MAPKKK family) weakly activated MKK6/ANQ but that of TES and ANP3 did not. MKK6/ANQ phosphorylated MPK4 MAPK in vitro to activate the latter kinase. Thus cytokinesis in A. thaliana is controlled by a pathway that consists of ANP MAPKKKs that can be activated by HIK and MKK6/ANQ MAPKK, with MPK4 MAPK being a probable target of MKK6/ANQ.

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