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Biosci Biotechnol Biochem. 2004 Sep;68(9):1966-76.

Rapid response of Arabidopsis T87 cultured cells to cytokinin through His-to-Asp phosphorelay signal transduction.

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Laboratory of Molecular Microbiology, School of Agriculture, Nagoya University, Chikusa-ku, Japan.


According to the current consistent model for the higher plant Arabidopsis thaliana, the scheme for an immediate early response to the plant hormone cytokinin can be formulated as Arabidopsis histidine kinase (AHK) cytokinin receptor-mediated His --> Asp phosphorelay signal transduction. Nonetheless, clarification of the comprehensive picture of cytokinin-mediated signal transduction in this higher plant is at a very early stage. As a new approach to this end, we studied whether or not a certain Arabidopsis cell line (named T87) would be versatile for such work on cytokinin signal transduction. We show that T87 cells had the ability to respond to cytokinin, displaying the immediate early induction of type-A Arabidopsis response regulator (ARR) family genes (e.g., ARR6) at the transcriptional level. This event was further confirmed by employing the stable transgenic lines of T87 cells with a set of ARR::LUC reporter transgenes. We also show that T87 cells had the ability to respond to auxin when the expression of a set of AUX/IAA genes (e.g., IAA5) was examined. As postulated for intact plants, in T87 cells too, the induction of IAA5 by auxin was selectively inhibited in the presence of a proteasome inhibitor, while the induction of ARR6 by cytokinin was not significantly affected under the same conditions. Through transient expression assays with T87 protoplasts, it is shown that the intracellular localization profiles of the phosphorelay intermediate Arabidopsis histidine-containing phosphotransfer factor (AHPs; e.g., AHP1 and AHP4) were markedly affected in response to cytokinin, but those of type-A ARRs were not (e.g., ARR15 and ARR16). Taken together, we conclude that, in T87 cells, the AHK-dependent His --> Asp phosphorelay circuitry appears to be propagated in response to cytokinin, as in the case of plants, as far as the immediate early responses were concerned. This cultured cell system might therefore provide us with an alternative means to further characterize the mechanisms underlying cytokinin (and also auxin) responses at the molecular level.

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