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New Phytol. 2009 Nov;184(3):517-28.

The CBL-CIPK Ca(2+)-decoding signaling network: function and perspectives.

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Universität Münster, Institut für Botanik und Botanischer Garten, Schlossplatz 4, 48149 Münster, Germany.


Calcium serves as a versatile messenger in many adaptation and developmental processes in plants. Cellular calcium signals are detected and transmitted by calcium-binding proteins functioning as sensor molecules. The family of calcineurin B-like (CBL) proteins represents a unique group of calcium sensors and contributes to the decoding of calcium transients by interacting with and regulating the family of CBL-interacting protein kinases (CIPKs). In higher plants, CBL proteins and CIPKs form a complex signaling network that allows for flexible but specific signal-response coupling during environmental adaptation reactions. This review presents novel findings concerning the evolution of this signaling network and key insights into the physiological function of CBL-CIPK complexes. These aspects will be presented and discussed in the context of emerging functional principles governing efficient and specific information processing in this signaling system.

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