Dissecting the protein kinase C/MAP kinase signalling pathway of Saccharomyces cerevisiae

Cell Mol Biol Res. 1994;40(3):229-39.


The PKC1 gene of the budding yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae encodes a homolog of the alpha, beta, and gamma isoforms of mammalian PKC that is essential for cell growth. Loss of PKC1 function results in a cell lysis defect that is suppressed by osmotic stabilizing agents, suggesting a defect in cell wall integrity. In this study, we show that Pkc1p-depleted cells develop holes in their cell walls positioned at their bud tips, the site to which growth is focused during polarized cell growth. This result suggests that pkc1 mutants are deficient in the process of cell wall remodeling during growth. In further support of this model, cells bearing a pkc1 delta mutation, allowed to proliferate in the presence of osmotic stabilizing agents, possessed cell walls that were only 60% as thick as wild-type cell walls. This diminution in cell wall material affected both the beta-glucan layer and the mannoprotein layer. We have exploited the cell lysis defect of pkc1 mutants to identify genes that function within the same signalling pathway at points downstream of PKC1. These genes comprise a protein kinase cascade that culminates in the activation of the MAP kinase homolog Mpk1p. The proposed order of protein kinase function, based on genetic experiments, is Pkc1p to Bck1p to Mkk1/2p to Mpk1p. Consistent with the proposed model, Pkc1p selectively phosphorylates Bck1p in vitro and Mpk1p protein kinase activity requires a functional BCK1 gene.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Calcium-Calmodulin-Dependent Protein Kinases / genetics
  • Calcium-Calmodulin-Dependent Protein Kinases / metabolism*
  • Cell Division / genetics
  • Cell Division / physiology
  • Cell Wall / ultrastructure
  • Genes, Fungal
  • Microscopy, Electron
  • Models, Biological
  • Mutation
  • Phosphorylation
  • Protein Kinase C / genetics
  • Protein Kinase C / metabolism*
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae / enzymology*
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae / genetics
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae / ultrastructure
  • Signal Transduction / genetics
  • Signal Transduction / physiology


  • Protein Kinase C
  • Calcium-Calmodulin-Dependent Protein Kinases