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Plant Signal Behav. 2010 Nov;5(11):1370-8. Epub 2010 Nov 1.

MAPK machinery in plants: recognition and response to different stresses through multiple signal transduction pathways.

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Molecular Biology and Genetic Engineering, College of Basic Science and Humanities, G.B. Pant University of Agriculture & Technology, Uttrakhand, Uttrangal, India.


The mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) cascades play diverse roles in intra- and extra-cellular signaling in plants. MAP kinases are the component of kinase modules which transfer information from sensors to responses in eukaryotes including plants. They play a pivotal role in transduction of diverse extracellular stimuli such as biotic and abiotic stresses as well as a range of developmental responses including differentiation, proliferation and death. Several cascades are induced by different biotic and abiotic stress stimuli such as pathogen infections, heavy metal, wounding, high and low temperatures, high salinity, UV radiation, ozone, reactive oxygen species, drought and high or low osmolarity. MAPK signaling has been implicated in biotic stresses and has also been associated with hormonal responses. The cascade is regulated by various mechanisms, including not only transcriptional and translational regulation but through post-transcriptional regulation such as protein-protein interactions. Recent detailed analysis of certain specific MAP kinase pathways have revealed the specificity of the kinases in the cascade, signal transduction patterns, identity of pathway targets and the complexity of the cascade. The latest insights and finding are discussed in this paper in relation to the role of MAPK pathway modules in plant stress signaling.

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