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Plant Signal Behav. 2008 Oct;3(10):848-9.

MAPK signaling in plant hormone ethylene signal transduction.

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Department of Biological Science; College of Natural Science; SungKyunKwan University; Suwon, Gyeonggi-do Korea.


The signal transduction pathway of the plant stress and defense hormone, ethylene, has been extensively elucidated using the plant genetic model Arabidopsis over the last two decades. Among others, a MAPKKK CTR1 was identified as a negative regulator that has led to the speculation of MAPK involvement in ethylene signaling. However, it remained unclear how the MAPK modules acting downstream of the receptors to mediate ethylene signaling. We have recently presented new evidence that the MKK9-MPK3/6 modules identified by combined functional genomic and genetic screens mediate ethylene signaling, which is negatively regulated by the genetically identified CTR1-dependent cascades. Our genetic studies show consistently that the MKK9-MPK3/MPK6 modules act downstream of the ethylene receptors. Biochemical and transgenic analyses further demonstrated that the positive-acting and negative-acting MAPK activities are integrated and act simultaneously to control the key transcription factor EIN3 through dual phosphorylations to regulate the EIN3 protein stability and downstream transcription cascades. This study has revealed a novel molecular mechanism that defines the specificity of complex MAPK signaling. Comprehensive elucidation of MAPK cascades and the underlying molecular mechanisms would provide more precise explanations for how plant cells utilize MAPK cascades to control specific downstream outputs in response to distinct stimuli.


CTR1; EIN3; MKK9; MPK3; MPK6; ethylene


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