Arabidopsis homologs of the shaggy and GSK-3 protein kinases: molecular cloning and functional expression in Escherichia coli

Mol Gen Genet. 1994 Feb;242(3):337-45. doi: 10.1007/BF00280424.


The conservation in evolution of fundamental signal transduction modules offers a means of isolating genes likely to be involved in plant development. We have amplified by PCR Arabidopsis cDNA and genomic sequences related to the product of the shaggy/zeste-white 3 (sgg) segment polarity gene of Drosophila. This regulatory protein is functionally homologous to glycogen synthase kinase-3 in mammals (GSK-3), which regulates, among others, the DNA-binding activity of the c-jun/AP1 transcription factor. Analysis of PCR products led to the identification of five genes; for two of which, corresponding full-length cDNAs, ASK-alpha and gamma (for Arabidopsis shaggy-related protein kinase), were characterized. The encoded proteins were 70% identical to GSK-3 and sgg over the protein kinase catalytic domain and, after production in Escherichia coli, autophosphorylated mainly on threonine and serine residues, but phosphotyrosine was also detected. ASK-alpha and ASK-gamma also phosphorylated phosphatase inhibitor-2 and myelin basic protein, on threonine and serine, respectively. The high conservation of the protein kinases of GSK-3 family, and their action at the transcriptional level, suggest that the ASK proteins have important functions in higher plants.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Amino Acids / metabolism
  • Animals
  • Arabidopsis / enzymology
  • Arabidopsis / genetics*
  • Arabidopsis Proteins*
  • Base Sequence
  • Calcium-Calmodulin-Dependent Protein Kinases / genetics*
  • Cloning, Molecular
  • DNA, Complementary
  • Drosophila / genetics
  • Drosophila Proteins*
  • Escherichia coli
  • Genes, Plant
  • Glycogen Synthase Kinase 3
  • Glycogen Synthase Kinases
  • Microtubule-Associated Proteins / genetics*
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Myelin Basic Protein / metabolism
  • Phosphorylation
  • Plant Proteins / genetics*
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Protein Kinases / genetics*
  • Protein-Tyrosine Kinases / genetics
  • Proteins / metabolism
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae Proteins*
  • Sequence Homology, Amino Acid


  • Amino Acids
  • Arabidopsis Proteins
  • DNA, Complementary
  • Drosophila Proteins
  • Microtubule-Associated Proteins
  • Myelin Basic Protein
  • Plant Proteins
  • Proteins
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae Proteins
  • protein phosphatase inhibitor-2
  • Protein Kinases
  • ATSK12 protein, Arabidopsis
  • Protein-Tyrosine Kinases
  • Glycogen Synthase Kinases
  • Sgg protein, Drosophila
  • Calcium-Calmodulin-Dependent Protein Kinases
  • ATSK11 protein, Arabidopsis
  • Glycogen Synthase Kinase 3
  • MCK1 protein, S cerevisiae

Associated data

  • GENBANK/X75431
  • GENBANK/X75432