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Gene Review

SMK1  -  mitogen-activated protein kinase SMK1

Saccharomyces cerevisiae S288c

Synonyms: MAP kinase SMK1, Sporulation-specific mitogen-activated protein kinase SMK1, YP9499.10, YPR054W
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High impact information on SMK1

  • We propose that the SMK1 MAP kinase participates in a developmentally regulated signal transduction pathway that coordinates cytodifferentiation events with the transcriptional program [1].
  • Molecular and cytologic markers indicate that meiotic development proceeds normally in homozygous smk1-delta 1 diploids through meiosis II [1].
  • Second, CAK1 mRNA accumulates during spore development contemporaneously with SMK1 mRNA [2].
  • SMK1 encodes a developmentally regulated MAP kinase in yeast that is required for spore wall morphogenesis [2].
  • We find that 1,3-beta-glucan synthase activity is elevated in smk1 mutants, suggesting that SMK1 negatively regulates GSC2 [3].

Biological context of SMK1

  • All of the phenotypes observed are similar to those found for the deletion of SPS1 or SMK1, two putative components of a sporulation-specific MAP kinase cascade [4].
  • C. glabrata has a putative mating-type (MAT) locus and a pheromone gene (MFALPHA2), as well as orthologs of at least 31 other Saccharomyces cerevisiae genes that have no known roles apart from mating or meiosis, including FUS3, IME1 and SMK1 [5].
  • Timing of SMK1 expression is determined by another cis-acting DNA sequence termed MSE (for middle sporulation element) [6].
  • The secretion of protoxin with the authentic amino acid sequence from the modified SMK1 was significantly increased, whereas the transcription level of SMK1 was not affected in the presence or absence of CUG codon [7].
  • In order to express the authentic SMK1 product in Saccharomyces cerevisiae, which uses the universal genetic code, the three CUG codons corresponding to Ser87, Ser137 and Ser206 in the SMK1 gene were changed to universal Ser codons by site-directed mutagenesis [7].

Associations of SMK1 with chemical compounds

  • The nucleotide sequence of the SMK1 gene predicts a 222 amino acid preprotoxin with a typical signal sequence, the hydrophobic alpha, an interstitial gamma polypeptide with a putative glycosylation site, and the hydrophilic beta [8].
  • The expression of the modified SMK1 gene with universal Ser codons was lethal in S.cerevisiae, as well as that of the unmodified SMK1 gene with the CUG codons [7].

Regulatory relationships of SMK1


Other interactions of SMK1

  • A weakened allele of CDC28 suppresses the sporulation defect of an ama1 null strain and increases the activation state of Smk1 [10].
  • Using mass spectrometry, we identify Gsc2p as a Smk1p-associated protein [3].
  • Here we show that Ama1, a meiosis-specific activator of the anaphase-promoting complex/cyclosome (APC/C), promotes Smk1 activation during meiosis [10].
  • Our data suggest that Smk1 and Rsc1/2 define parallel pathways that converge to provide signaling information and the expression of gene products, respectively, that are required for spore morphogenesis [11].
  • Moreover, diploids lacking Rsc1 or Rsc2 show a subset of smk1-like phenotypes [11].

Analytical, diagnostic and therapeutic context of SMK1


  1. SMK1, a developmentally regulated MAP kinase, is required for spore wall assembly in Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Krisak, L., Strich, R., Winters, R.S., Hall, J.P., Mallory, M.J., Kreitzer, D., Tuan, R.S., Winter, E. Genes Dev. (1994) [Pubmed]
  2. The CDK-activating kinase CAK1 can dosage suppress sporulation defects of smk1 MAP kinase mutants and is required for spore wall morphogenesis in Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Wagner, M., Pierce, M., Winter, E. EMBO J. (1997) [Pubmed]
  3. The Smk1p MAP kinase negatively regulates Gsc2p, a 1,3-beta-glucan synthase, during spore wall morphogenesis in Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Huang, L.S., Doherty, H.K., Herskowitz, I. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. (2005) [Pubmed]
  4. SWM1, a developmentally regulated gene, is required for spore wall assembly in Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Ufano, S., San-Segundo, P., del Rey, F., Vázquez de Aldana, C.R. Mol. Cell. Biol. (1999) [Pubmed]
  5. Evidence from comparative genomics for a complete sexual cycle in the 'asexual' pathogenic yeast Candida glabrata. Wong, S., Fares, M.A., Zimmermann, W., Butler, G., Wolfe, K.H. Genome Biol. (2003) [Pubmed]
  6. Transcriptional regulation of the SMK1 mitogen-activated protein kinase gene during meiotic development in Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Pierce, M., Wagner, M., Xie, J., Gailus-Durner, V., Six, J., Vershon, A.K., Winter, E. Mol. Cell. Biol. (1998) [Pubmed]
  7. Alternative CUG codon usage (Ser for Leu) in Pichia farinosa and the effect of a mutated killer gene in Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Suzuki, C., Kashiwagi, T., Hirayama, K. Protein Eng. (2002) [Pubmed]
  8. The primary and subunit structure of a novel type killer toxin produced by a halotolerant yeast, Pichia farinosa. Suzuki, C., Nikkuni, S. J. Biol. Chem. (1994) [Pubmed]
  9. CAK1 promotes meiosis and spore formation in Saccharomyces cerevisiae in a CDC28-independent fashion. Schaber, M., Lindgren, A., Schindler, K., Bungard, D., Kaldis, P., Winter, E. Mol. Cell. Biol. (2002) [Pubmed]
  10. The Ama1-directed anaphase-promoting complex regulates the Smk1 mitogen-activated protein kinase during meiosis in yeast. McDonald, C.M., Cooper, K.F., Winter, E. Genetics (2005) [Pubmed]
  11. RSC1 and RSC2 are required for expression of mid-late sporulation-specific genes in Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Bungard, D., Reed, M., Winter, E. Eukaryotic Cell (2004) [Pubmed]
  12. Lethal effect of the expression of a killer gene SMK1 in Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Suzuki, C., Kawano, M., Kashiwagi, T., Arata, Y., Kawasumi, T., Kashiwagi, Y. Protein Eng. (2000) [Pubmed]
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