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J Biol Chem. 2006 Dec 1;281(48):36969-76. Epub 2006 Oct 5.

MEKK1 is required for MPK4 activation and regulates tissue-specific and temperature-dependent cell death in Arabidopsis.

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  • 1Sainsbury Laboratory, John Innes Centre, Colney Lane, Norwich NR4 7UH, United Kingdom.


Innate immunity signaling pathways in both animals and plants are regulated by mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) cascades. An Arabidopsis MAPK cascade (MEKK1, MKK4/MKK5, and MPK3/MPK6) has been proposed to function downstream of the flagellin receptor FLS2 based on biochemical assays using transient overexpression of candidate components. To genetically test this model, we characterized two mekk1 mutants. We show here that MEKK1 is not required for flagellin-triggered activation of MPK3 and MPK6. Instead, MEKK1 is essential for activation of MPK4, a MAPK that negatively regulates systemic acquired resistance. We also showed that MEKK1 negatively regulates temperature-sensitive and tissue-specific cell death and H(2)O(2) accumulation that are partly dependent on both RAR1, a key component in resistance protein function, and SID2, an isochorismate synthase required for salicylic acid production upon pathogen infection.

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