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Plant Signal Behav. 2011 Feb;6(2):196-203. Epub 2011 Feb 1.

Mitogen-activated protein kinase signaling in plants under abiotic stress.

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National Institute of Plant Genome Research, Aruna Asaf Ali Marg, New Delhi, India.


Mitogen-activated protein kinase cascade is evolutionarily conserved signal transduction module involved in transducing extracellular signals to the nucleus for appropriate cellular adjustment. This cascade consists essentially of three components, a MAPK kinase kinase (MAPKKK), a MAPK kinase (MAPKK) and a MAPK connected to each other by the event of phosphorylation. These kinases play various roles in intra- and extra-cellular signaling in plants by transferring the information from sensors to responses. Signaling through MAP kinase cascade can lead to cellular responses including cell division, differentiation as well as responses to various stresses. MAPK signaling has also been associated with hormonal responses. In plants, MAP kinases are represented by multigene families and are involved in efficient transmission of specific stimuli and also involved in the regulation of the antioxidant defense system in response to stress signaling. In the current review we summarize and investigate the participation of MAPKs as possible mediators of various abiotic stresses in plants.

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