Send to

Choose Destination
Mol Biol Cell. 2012 Oct;23(19):3899-910. doi: 10.1091/mbc.E12-04-0333. Epub 2012 Aug 8.

Combined computational and experimental analysis reveals mitogen-activated protein kinase-mediated feedback phosphorylation as a mechanism for signaling specificity.

Author information

Department of Pharmacology, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC 27599, USA.


Different environmental stimuli often use the same set of signaling proteins to achieve very different physiological outcomes. The mating and invasive growth pathways in yeast each employ a mitogen-activated protein (MAP) kinase cascade that includes Ste20, Ste11, and Ste7. Whereas proper mating requires Ste7 activation of the MAP kinase Fus3, invasive growth requires activation of the alternate MAP kinase Kss1. To determine how MAP kinase specificity is achieved, we used a series of mathematical models to quantitatively characterize pheromone-stimulated kinase activation. In accordance with the computational analysis, MAP kinase feedback phosphorylation of Ste7 results in diminished activation of Kss1, but not Fus3. These findings reveal how feedback phosphorylation of a common pathway component can limit the activity of a competing MAP kinase through feedback phosphorylation of a common activator, and thereby promote signal fidelity.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Atypon Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center