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Mol Gen Genet. 1994 Feb;242(3):337-45.

Arabidopsis homologs of the shaggy and GSK-3 protein kinases: molecular cloning and functional expression in Escherichia coli.

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Centre de Recherches sur les Plantes URA 1128, Université de Paris-Sud, Orsay, France.


The conservation in evolution of fundamental signal transduction modules offers a means of isolating genes likely to be involved in plant development. We have amplified by PCR Arabidopsis cDNA and genomic sequences related to the product of the shaggy/zeste-white 3 (sgg) segment polarity gene of Drosophila. This regulatory protein is functionally homologous to glycogen synthase kinase-3 in mammals (GSK-3), which regulates, among others, the DNA-binding activity of the c-jun/AP1 transcription factor. Analysis of PCR products led to the identification of five genes; for two of which, corresponding full-length cDNAs, ASK-alpha and gamma (for Arabidopsis shaggy-related protein kinase), were characterized. The encoded proteins were 70% identical to GSK-3 and sgg over the protein kinase catalytic domain and, after production in Escherichia coli, autophosphorylated mainly on threonine and serine residues, but phosphotyrosine was also detected. ASK-alpha and ASK-gamma also phosphorylated phosphatase inhibitor-2 and myelin basic protein, on threonine and serine, respectively. The high conservation of the protein kinases of GSK-3 family, and their action at the transcriptional level, suggest that the ASK proteins have important functions in higher plants.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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