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J Biol Chem. 1995 Sep 15;270(37):21695-700.

Cloning and characterization of a human protein kinase with homology to Ste20.

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Fox Chase Cancer Center, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19111, USA.


A human protein kinase (termed MST1) has been cloned and characterized. The MST1 catalytic domain is most homologous to Ste20 and other Ste20-like kinases (62-65% similar). MST1 is expressed ubiquitously, and the MST1 protein is present in all human cell lines examined. Biochemical characterization of MST1 catalytic activity demonstrates that it is a serine/threonine kinase, and that it can phosphorylate an exogenous substrate as well as itself in an in vitro kinase assay. Further characterization of the protein indicates MST1 activity increases approximately 3-4-fold upon treatment with PP2A, suggesting that MST1 is negatively regulated by phosphorylation. MST1 activity decreases approximately 2-fold upon treatment with epidermal growth factor; however, overexpression of MST1 does not affect extracellular signal-regulated kinase-1 and -2 activation. MST1 is unaffected by heat shock or high osmolarity, indicating that it is not involved in the stress-activated or high osmolarity glycerol signal transduction pathways. Thus MST1, although homologous to a member of a yeast MAPK cascade, is not involved in the regulation of a known mammalian MAPK pathway and potentially regulates a novel signaling cascade.

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