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PLoS Pathog. 2013;9(6):e1003445. doi: 10.1371/journal.ppat.1003445. Epub 2013 Jun 20.

An extracellular subtilase switch for immune priming in Arabidopsis.

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Instituto de Biología Molecular y Celular de Plantas, Universidad Politécnica de Valencia-C.S.I.C, Ciudad Politécnica de la Innovación, Valencia, Spain.


In higher eukaryotes, induced resistance associates with acquisition of a priming state of the cells for a more effective activation of innate immunity; however, the nature of the components for mounting this type of immunological memory is not well known. We identified an extracellular subtilase from Arabidopsis, SBT3.3, the overexpression of which enhances innate immune responses while the loss of function compromises them. SBT3.3 expression initiates a durable autoinduction mechanism that promotes chromatin remodeling and activates a salicylic acid(SA)-dependent mechanism of priming of defense genes for amplified response. Moreover, SBT3.3 expression-sensitized plants for enhanced expression of the OXI1 kinase gene and activation of MAP kinases following pathogen attack, providing additional clues for the regulation of immune priming by SBT3.3. Conversely, in sbt3.3 mutant plants pathogen-mediated induction of SA-related defense gene expression is drastically reduced and activation of MAP kinases inhibited. Moreover, chromatin remodeling of defense-related genes normally associated with activation of an immune priming response appear inhibited in sbt3.3 plants, further indicating the importance of the extracellular SBT3.3 subtilase in the establishment of immune priming. Our results also point to an epigenetic control in the regulation of plant immunity, since SBT3.3 is up-regulated and priming activated when epigenetic control is impeded. SBT3.3 represents a new regulator of primed immunity.

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