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Mol Cell Biol. 1994 Jan;14(1):831-9.

MDS1, a dosage suppressor of an mck1 mutant, encodes a putative yeast homolog of glycogen synthase kinase 3.

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  • 1Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland 21205.


The yeast gene MCK1 encodes a serine/threonine protein kinase that is thought to function in regulating kinetochore activity and entry into meiosis. Disruption of MCK1 confers a cold-sensitive phenotype, a temperature-sensitive phenotype, and sensitivity to the microtubule-destabilizing drug benomyl and leads to loss of chromosomes during growth on benomyl. A dosage suppression selection was used to identify genes that, when present at high copy number, could suppress the cold-sensitive phenotype of mck1::HIS3 mutant cells. Several unique classes of clones were identified, and one of these, designated MDS1, has been characterized in some detail. Nucleotide sequence data reveal that MDS1 encodes a serine/threonine protein kinase that is highly homologous to the shaggy/zw3 kinase in Drosophila melanogaster and its functional homolog, glycogen synthase kinase 3, in rats. The presence of MDS1 in high copy number rescues both the cold-sensitive and the temperature-sensitive phenotypes, but not the benomyl-sensitive phenotype, associated with the disruption of MCK1. Analysis of strains harboring an mds1 null mutation demonstrates that MDS1 is not essential during normal vegetative growth but appears to be required for meiosis. Finally, in vitro experiments indicate that the proteins encoded by both MCK1 and MDS1 possess protein kinase activity with substrate specificity similar to that of mammalian glycogen synthase kinase 3.

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