WM Keck Science
Arginine/serine-rich (RS) domain-containing proteins and their phosphorylation by specific protein kinases constitute control circuits to regulate pre-mRNA splicing and coordinate splicing with transcription in mammalian cells. We present here the finding that similar SR networks exist in Schizosaccharomyces pombe. We previously showed that Dsk1 protein, originally described as a mitotic regulator, displays high activity in phosphorylating S. pombe Prp2 protein (spU2AF59), a homologue of human U2AF65. We now demonstrate that Dsk1 also phosphorylates two recently identified fission yeast proteins with RS repeats, Srp1 and Srp2, in vitro. The phosphorylated proteins bear the same phosphoepitope found in mammalian SR proteins. Consistent with its substrate specificity, Dsk1 forms kinase-competent complexes with those proteins. Furthermore, dsk1+ gene determines the phenotype of prp2+ overexpression, providing in vivo evidence that Prp2 is a target for Dsk1. The dsk1-null mutant strain became severely sick with the additional deletion of a related kinase gene. Significantly, human SR protein-specific kinase 1 (SRPK1) complements the growth defect of the double-deletion mutant. In conjunction with the resemblance of dsk1+ and SRPK1 in sequence homology, biochemical properties, and overexpression phenotypes, the complementation result indicates that SRPK1 is a functional homologue of Dsk1. Collectively, our studies illustrate the conserved SR networks in S. pombe consisting of RS domain-containing proteins and SR protein-specific kinases and thus establish the importance of the networks in eucaryotic organisms.
Tang, Zhaohua, Tiffany Kuo, Jenny Shen, and Ren-Jang Lin. "Biochemical and Genetic Conservation of Fission Yeast Dsk1 and Human SRPK1." Molecular and Cellular Biology 20.3 (2000): 816-824. DOI: 0.1128/MCB.20.3.816-824.2000