Mcs4 mitotic catastrophe suppressor regulates the fission yeast cell cycle through the Wik1-Wis1-Spc1 kinase cascade

Kazuhiro Shiozaki, Mitsue Shiozaki, Paul Russell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

110 Scopus citations


Spc1 in Schizosaccharomyces pombe is a member of the stress-activated protein kinase family, an evolutionary conserved subfamily of mitogen- activated protein kinases (MAPKs). Spc1 is activated by a MAPK kinase homologue, Wis1, and negatively regulated by Pyp1 and Pyp2 tyrosine phosphatases. Mutations in the spc1+ and wis1+ genes cause a G2 cell cycle delay that is exacerbated during stress. Herein, we describe two upstream regulators of the Wis1-Spc1 cascade. wik1+ (Wis1 kinase) was identified from its homology to budding yeast SSK2, which encodes a MAPKK kinase that regulates the HOG1 osmosensing pathway. Δwik1 cells are impaired in stress- induced activation of Spc1 and show a G2 cell cycle delay and osmosensitive growth. Moreover, overproduction of a constitutively active form of Wik1 induces hyperactivation of Spc1 in a Wis1+-dependent manner, suggesting that Wik1 regulates Spc1 through activation of Wis1. A mutation of mcs4+ (mitotic catastrophe suppressor) was originally isolated as a suppressor of the mitotic catastrophe phenotype of a cdc2-3w wee1-50 double mutant. We have found that mcs4- cells are defective at activation of Spc1 in response to various forms of stress. Epistasis analysis has placed Mcs4 upstream of Wik1 in the Spc1 activation cascade. These results indicate that Mcs4 is part of a sensor system for multiple environmental signals that modulates the timing of entry into mitosis by regulating the Wik1-Wis1-Spc1 kinase cascade. Inactivation of the sensor system delays the onset of mitosis and rescues lethal premature mitosis in cdc2-3w wee1-50 cells.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)409-419
Number of pages11
JournalMolecular Biology of the Cell
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1997
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics
  • Cell Biology


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