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Plant Physiol. 1997 Mar;113(3):833-839.

Abscisic Acid Activates a 48-Kilodalton Protein Kinase in Guard Cell Protoplasts.

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Graduate School of Agricultural Sciences (I.C.M., S.M.), and Nagoya University Bioscience Center (S.M.), Nagoya University, Chikusa-ku, Nagoya 464-01, Japan.


A 49- and a 46-kD Ca2+-independent protein kinase and a 53-kD Ca2+-dependent protein kinase were detected in Vicia faba guard cell protoplasts (GCPs) by an in-gel protein kinase assay using myelin basic protein as a substrate. A 48-kD protein kinase designated as abscisic acid (ABA)-responsive protein kinase (ABR kinase) appeared when GCPs were treated with ABA. The activation of ABR kinase was suppressed by the protein kinase inhibitor staurosporine, indicating that a putative activator protein kinase phosphorylates and activates ABR kinase. The treatment of GCPs with 1,2-bis(o-aminophenoxy)ethan-N,N,N',N'-tetraacetic acid, a calcium chelator, suppressed the activation of ABR kinase, suggesting that an influx of extracellular Ca2+ is required for the activation. Staurosporine and K-252a inhibited both the activity of ABR kinase and the stomatal closure induced by ABA treatment of V. faba epidermal peels. These results suggest that ABR kinase and its activator kinase may consist of a protein kinase cascade in a signal transduction pathway linking ABA perception to stomatal closure. The mobility of the 53-kD Ca2+-dependent protein kinase in sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gel was shifted upon Ca2+ binding to the enzyme, thus exhibiting the characteristics of a Ca2+-dependent or calmodulin-like domain protein kinase. This kinase may be the activator of ABR kinase.

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