Evidence for a novel MAPKKK-independent pathway controlling the stress activated Sty1/Spc1 MAP kinase in fission yeast.J Cell Sci. 1998 Sep; 111 (Pt 18):2799-807.JC
The fission yeast Sty1/Spc1 MAP kinase, like the mammalian JNK/SAPK and p38/CSBP1 kinases, is activated by a range of environmental insults including osmotic stress, hydrogen peroxide, heat shock, UV light and the protein synthesis inhibitor anisomycin. Sty1 is activated by a single MAPKK, Wis1. We demonstrate that the conserved MAPKKK phosphorylation sites Ser 469 and Thr 473 in the catalytic domain of Wis1 are normally essential for Sty1 activation. However, when mildly overexpressed, a mutant Wis1 kinase lacking these conserved phosphorylation sites is able to support stress inducible gene expression and activation of the Sty1 MAP kinase in response to an oxidative or osmotic stress or to a mild heat shock. We show that phosphorylation and activation of Sty1 under these conditions is not due to inactivation of the Pyp1 MAP kinase phosphatase. These results reveal a novel MAPKKK-independent pathway by which the Wis1 MAPKK can activate the Sty1 MAPK in response to stress in fission yeast.