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Bioessays. 2001 Jul;23(7):619-27.

Ethylene hormone receptor action in Arabidopsis.

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Department of Cell Biology and Molecular Genetics, University of Maryland, College Park, USA.


Small gaseous molecules play important roles in biological signaling in both animal and plant physiology. The hydrocarbon gas ethylene has long been known to regulate diverse aspects of plant growth and development, including fruit ripening, leaf senescence and flower abscission. Recent progress has been made toward identifying components involved in ethylene signal transduction in the plant Arabidopsis thaliana. Ethylene is perceived by five receptors that have similarity to two-component signaling proteins. The hydrophobic amino-terminus of the receptors binds ethylene, and mutations in this domain both prevent ethylene binding and confer ethylene insensitivity to the plant; the carboxyl-terminal portion of the receptors has similarity to bacterial his tidine protein kinases. Genetic data suggest a model in which ethylene binding inhibits receptor signaling, yet precisely how these receptors function is unclear. Two of the receptors have been found to associate with a negative regulator of ethylene responses called CTR1, which appears to be a mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) kinase kinase.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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