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Plant Cell. 2007 Mar;19(3):805-18. Epub 2007 Mar 16.

The mitogen-activated protein kinase cascade MKK3-MPK6 is an important part of the jasmonate signal transduction pathway in Arabidopsis.

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Gene Discovery Research Group, RIKEN Plant Science Center, Tsukuba, Ibaraki 305-0074, Japan.


The plant hormone jasmonic acid (JA) plays a key role in the environmental stress responses and developmental processes of plants. Although ATMYC2/JASMONATE-INSENSITIVE1 (JIN1) is a major positive regulator of JA-inducible gene expression and essential for JA-dependent developmental processes in Arabidopsis thaliana, molecular mechanisms underlying the control of ATMYC2/JIN1 expression remain largely unknown. Here, we identify a mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) cascade, MAPK KINASE 3 (MKK3)-MAPK 6 (MPK6), which is activated by JA in Arabidopsis. We also show that JA negatively controls ATMYC2/JIN1 expression, based on quantitative RT-PCR and genetic analyses using gain-of-function and loss-of-function mutants of the MKK3-MPK6 cascade. These results indicate that this kinase unit plays a key role in JA-dependent negative regulation of ATMYC2/JIN1 expression. Both positive and negative regulation by JA may be used to fine-tune ATMYC2/JIN1 expression to control JA signaling. Moreover, JA-regulated root growth inhibition is affected by mutations in the MKK3-MPK6 cascade, which indicates important roles in JA signaling. We provide a model explaining how MPK6 can convert three distinct signals - JA, pathogen, and cold/salt stress - into three different sets of responses in Arabidopsis.

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