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Plant Physiol. 2002 Apr;128(4):1428-38.

Mutational analysis of the ethylene receptor ETR1. Role of the histidine kinase domain in dominant ethylene insensitivity.

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  • 1Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, University of New Hampshire, Durham, NH 03824, USA.


The ethylene receptor family of Arabidopsis consists of five members, one of these being ETR1. The N-terminal half of ETR1 contains a hydrophobic domain responsible for ethylene binding and membrane localization. The C-terminal half of the polypeptide contains domains with homology to histidine (His) kinases and response regulators, signaling motifs originally identified in bacteria. The role of the His kinase domain in ethylene signaling was examined in planta. For this purpose, site-directed mutations were introduced into the full-length wild-type ETR1 gene and into etr1-1, a mutant allele that confers dominant ethylene insensitivity on plants. The mutant forms of the receptor were expressed in Arabidopsis and the transgenic plants characterized for their ethylene responses. A mutation that eliminated His kinase activity did not affect the ability of etr1-1 to confer ethylene insensitivity. A truncated version of etr1-1 that lacks the His kinase domain also conferred ethylene insensitivity. Possible mechanisms by which a truncated version of etr1-1 could exert dominance are discussed.

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