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Plant Cell. 2005 Apr;17(4):1154-66. Epub 2005 Mar 16.

ARABIDOPSIS CRINKLY4 function, internalization, and turnover are dependent on the extracellular crinkly repeat domain.

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Institute of Molecular Plant Sciences, University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh EH9 3JR, United Kingdom.


The study of the regulation and cellular dynamics of receptor kinase signaling in plants is a rapidly evolving field that promises to give enormous insights into the molecular control of signal perception. In this study, we have analyzed the behavior of the L1-specific receptor kinase ARABIDOPSIS CRINKLY4 (ACR4) from Arabidopsis thaliana in planta and have shown it to be present in two distinct compartments within cells. These represent protein export bodies and a population of internalized vesicles. In parallel, deletion analysis has shown that a predicted beta-propeller-forming extracellular domain is necessary for ACR4 function. Nonfunctional ACR4 variants with deletions or point mutations in this domain behave differently to wild-type fusion protein in that they are not internalized to the same extent. In addition, in contrast with functional ACR4, which appears to be rapidly turned over, they are stabilized. Thus, for ACR4, internalization and turnover are linked and depend on functionality, suggesting that ACR4 signaling may be subject to damping down via internalization and degradation. The observed rapid turnover of ACR4 sets it apart from other recently studied plant receptor kinases. Finally, ACR4 kinase activity is not required for protein function, leading us to propose, by analogy to animal systems, that ACR4 may hetero-oligomerize with a kinase-active partner during signaling. Plant and animal receptor kinases have distinct evolutionary origins. However, with other recent work, our study suggests that there has been considerable convergent evolution between mechanisms used to regulate their activity.

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