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Mol Cell Biol. 1996 Jun;16(6):2870-7.

Activation and regulation of the Spc1 stress-activated protein kinase in Schizosaccharomyces pombe.

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  • 1Department of Molecular Biology, Scripps Research Institute, La Jolla, California 92037, USA.


Spc1, an osmotic-stress-stimulated mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) homolog in the fission yeast Schizosaccharomyces pombe, is required for the induction of mitosis and survival in high-osmolarity conditions. Spc1, also known as Sty1, is activated by Wis1 MAPK kinase and inhibited by Pyp1 tyrosine phosphatase. Spc1 is most closely related to Saccharomyces cerevisiae Hog1 and mammalian p38 kinases. Whereas Hog1 is specifically responsive to osmotic stress, we report here that Spc1 is activated by multiple forms of stress, including high temperature and oxidative stress. In this regard Spc1 is more similar to mammalian p38. Activation of Spc1 is crucial for survival of various forms of stress. Spc1 regulates expression of genes encoding stress-related proteins such as glycerol-3-phosphate dehydrogenase (gpd1+) and trehalose-6-phosphate synthase (tps1+). Spc1 also promotes expression of pyp2+, which encodes a tyrosine phosphatase postulated as a negative regulator of Spc1. This proposal is supported by the finding that Spc1 associates with Pyp2 in vivo and that the amount of Spc1 tyrosine phosphorylation is lower in a Pyp2-overproducing strain than in the wild type. Moreover, the level of stress-stimulated gpd1+ expression is higher in delta pyp2 mutants than in the wild type. These findings demonstrate that Spc1 promotes expression of genes involved in stress survival and that of regulation may be commonly employed to modulate MAPK signal transduction pathways in eukaryotic species.

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