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Nature. 2001 Feb 22;409(6823):1060-3.

Identification of CRE1 as a cytokinin receptor from Arabidopsis.

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Department of Biology, Graduate School of Science, Osaka University, Toyonaka, Japan.


Cytokinins are a class of plant hormones that are central to the regulation of cell division and differentiation in plants. It has been proposed that they are detected by a two-component system, because overexpression of the histidine kinase gene CKI1 induces typical cytokinin responses and genes for a set of response regulators of two-component systems can be induced by cytokinins. Two-component systems use a histidine kinase as an environmental sensor and rely on a phosphorelay for signal transduction. They are common in microorganisms, and are also emerging as important signal detection routes in plants. Here we report the identification of a cytokinin receptor. We identified Arabidopsis cre1 (cytokinin response 1) mutants, which exhibited reduced responses to cytokinins. The mutated gene CRE1 encodes a histidine kinase. CRE1 expression conferred a cytokinin-dependent growth phenotype on a yeast mutant that lacked the endogenous histidine kinase SLN1 (ref. 10), providing direct evidence that CRE1 is a cytokinin receptor. We also provide evidence that cytokinins can activate CRE1 to initiate phosphorelay signalling.

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