TITLE

Tight Interconnection and Multi-Level Control of Arabidopsis MYB44 in MAPK Cascade Signalling

AUTHOR(S)
Persak, Helene; Pitzschke, Andrea
PUB. DATE
February 2013
SOURCE
PLoS ONE;Feb2013, Vol. 8 Issue 2, p1
SOURCE TYPE
Academic Journal
DOC. TYPE
Article
ABSTRACT
Abiotic stress poses a huge, ever-increasing problem to plants and agriculture. The dissection of signalling pathways mediating stress tolerance is a prerequisite to develop more resistant plant species. Mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) cascades are universal signalling modules. In Arabidopsis, the MAPK MPK3 and its upstream regulator MAPK kinase MKK4 initiate the adaptation response to numerous abiotic and biotic stresses. Yet, molecular steps directly linked with MKK4 – MPK3 activation are largely unknown. Starting with a yeast-two-hybrid screen for interacting partners of MKK4, we identified a transcription factor, MYB44. MYB44 is controlled at multiple levels by and strongly inter-connected with MAPK signalling. As we had shown earlier, stress-induced expression of the MYB44 gene is regulated by a MPK3-targeted bZIP transcription factor VIP1. At the protein level, MYB44 interacts with MPK3 in vivo. MYB44 is phosphorylated by MPK3 in vitro at a single residue, Ser145. Although replacement of Ser145 by a non-phosphorylatable (S145A) or phosphomimetic (S145D) residue did not alter MYB44 subcellular localisation, dimerization behaviour nor DNA-binding characteristics, abiotic stress tolerance tests in stable transgenic Arabidopsis plants clearly related S145 phosphorylation to MYB44 function: Compared to Arabidopsis wild type plants, MYB44 overexpressing lines exhibit an enhanced tolerance to osmotic stress and are slightly more sensitive to abscisic acid. Interestingly, overexpression of the S145A variant revealed that impaired phosphorylation does not render the MYB44 protein non-functional. Instead, S145A lines are highly sensitive to abiotic stress, and thereby remarkably similar to mpk3-deficient plants. Its in vivo interaction with the nuclear sub-pools of both MPK3 and MKK4 renders MYB44 the first plant transcription factor to have a second function as putative MAPK cascade scaffolding protein.
ACCESSION #
87625528

 

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