The Arabidopsis thaliana mitogen-activated protein kinases MPK3 and MPK6 target a subclass of "VQ-motif'-containing proteins to regulate immune responses

2014 | journal article. A publication with affiliation to the University of Göttingen.

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​The Arabidopsis thaliana mitogen-activated protein kinases MPK3 and MPK6 target a subclass of "VQ-motif'-containing proteins to regulate immune responses​
Pecher, P.; Eschen-Lippold, L.; Herklotz, S.; Kuhle, K.; Naumann, K.; Bethke, G. & Uhrig, J. F.  et al.​ (2014) 
New Phytologist203(2) pp. 592​-606​.​ DOI: 

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Pecher, Pascal; Eschen-Lippold, Lennart; Herklotz, Siska; Kuhle, Katja; Naumann, Kai; Bethke, Gerit; Uhrig, Joachim F. ; Weyhe, Martin; Scheel, Dierk; Lee, Justin
Mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) cascades play key roles in plant immune signalling, and elucidating their regulatory functions requires the identification of the pathway-specific substrates. We used yeast two-hybrid interaction screens, in vitro kinase assays and mass spectrometry-based phosphosite mapping to study a family of MAPK substrates. Site-directed mutagenesis and promoter-reporter fusion studies were performed to evaluate the impact of substrate phosphorylation on downstream signalling. A subset of the Arabidopsis thaliana VQ-motif-containing proteins (VQPs) were phosphorylated by the MAPKs MPK3 and MPK6, and renamed MPK3/6-targeted VQPs (MVQs). When plant protoplasts (expressing these MVQs) were treated with the flagellin-derived peptide flg22, several MVQs were destabilized in vivo. The MVQs interact with specific WRKY transcription factors. Detailed analysis of a representative member of the MVQ subset, MVQ1, indicated a negative role in WRKY-mediated defence gene expression - with mutation of the VQ-motif abrogating WRKY binding and causing mis-regulation of defence gene expression. We postulate the existence of a variety of WRKY-VQP-containing transcriptional regulatory protein complexes that depend on spatio-temporal VQP and WRKY expression patterns. Defence gene transcription can be modulated by changing the composition of these complexes - in part - through MAPK-mediated VQP degradation.
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New Phytologist 
1469-8137; 0028-646X



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