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J Exp Bot. 2011 Nov;62(15):5571-80. doi: 10.1093/jxb/err238. Epub 2011 Aug 12.

Evidence for the localization of the Arabidopsis cytokinin receptors AHK3 and AHK4 in the endoplasmic reticulum.

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Center for Plant Molecular Biology, Department of Plant Physiology, University of Tübingen, Auf der Morgenstelle 1, D-72076 Tübingen, Germany.


Cytokinins are hormones that are involved in various processes of plant growth and development. The model of cytokinin signalling starts with hormone perception through membrane-localized histidine kinase receptors. Although the biochemical properties and functions of these receptors have been extensively studied, there is no solid proof of their subcellular localization. Here, cell biological and biochemical evidence for the localization of functional fluorophor-tagged fusions of Arabidopsis histidine kinase 3 (AHK3) and 4 (AHK4), members of the cytokinin receptor family, in the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) is provided. Furthermore, membrane-bound AHK3 interacts with AHK4 in vivo. The ER localization and putative function of cytokinin receptors from the ER have major impacts on the concept of cytokinin perception and signalling, and hormonal cross-talk in plants.

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