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Arabidopsis Book. 2011;9:e0149. doi: 10.1199/tab.0149. Epub 2011 Sep 26.

The Function of the CLE Peptides in Plant Development and Plant-Microbe Interactions.


The CLAVATA3 (CLV3)/ENDOSPERM SURROUNDING REGION (ESR) (CLE) peptides consist of 12 or 13 amino acids, including hydroxylated proline residues that may or may not contain sugar modifications, and function in a non-cell-autonomous fashion. The CLE gene was first reported in Zea mays (maize) as an endosperm-specific gene, ESR, in 1997 (Opsahl-Ferstad et al., 1997). CLE genes encode secreted peptides that function in the extracellular space as intercellular signaling molecules and bind to cellular surface receptor-like proteins to transmit a signal. CLE peptides regulate various physiological and developmental processes and its signaling pathway are conserved in diverse land plants. Recent CLE functional studies have pointed to their significance in regulating meristematic activity in plant meristems, through the CLE-receptor kinase-WOX signaling node. CLV3 and CLE40 are responsible for maintenance of shoot apical meristem (SAM) and root apical meristem (RAM) function, regulating homeodomain transcription factors, WUSCHEL (WUS) and WUSCHEL-related homeobox 5 (WOX5), respectively. CLE and WOX form an interconnected and self-correcting feedback loop to provide robustness to stem cell homeostasis. CLE peptides are required for certain plant-microbe interactions, such as those that occur during legume symbiosis and phytopathogenic nematode infection. Understanding the molecular properties of CLE peptides may provide insight into plant cell-cell communication, and therefore also into plant-microbe interactions.

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