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Nat Chem Biol. 2012 May 6;8(6):583-9. doi: 10.1038/nchembio.958.

Fluorescent castasterone reveals BRI1 signaling from the plasma membrane.

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Department of Plant Systems Biology, VIB, Ghent, Belgium.


Receptor-mediated endocytosis is an integral part of signal transduction as it mediates signal attenuation and provides spatial and temporal dimensions to signaling events. One of the best-studied leucine-rich repeat receptor-like kinases in plants, BRASSINOSTEROID INSENSITIVE 1 (BRI1), perceives its ligand, the brassinosteroid (BR) hormone, at the cell surface and is constitutively endocytosed. However, the importance of endocytosis for BR signaling remains unclear. Here we developed a bioactive, fluorescent BR analog, Alexa Fluor 647-castasterone (AFCS), and visualized the endocytosis of BRI1-AFCS complexes in living Arabidopsis thaliana cells. Impairment of endocytosis dependent on clathrin and the guanine nucleotide exchange factor for ARF GTPases (ARF-GEF) GNOM enhanced BR signaling by retaining active BRI1-ligand complexes at the plasma membrane. Increasing the trans-Golgi network/early endosome pool of BRI1-BR complexes did not affect BR signaling. Our findings provide what is to our knowledge the first visualization of receptor-ligand complexes in plants and reveal clathrin- and ARF-GEF-dependent endocytic regulation of BR signaling from the plasma membrane.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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