Send to

Choose Destination
Plant Cell Environ. 2015 Mar;38(3):544-58. doi: 10.1111/pce.12414. Epub 2014 Aug 22.

ZmCPK1, a calcium-independent kinase member of the Zea mays CDPK gene family, functions as a negative regulator in cold stress signalling.

Author information

Dahlem Centre of Plant Sciences, Freie Universität Berlin, D-14195, Berlin, Germany.


Calcium-dependent protein kinases (CDPKs) have been shown to play important roles in plant environmental stress signal transduction. We report on the identification of ZmCPK1 as a member of the maize (Zea mays) CDPK gene family involved in the regulation of the maize cold stress response. Based upon in silico analysis of the Z. mays cv. B73 genome, we identified that the maize CDPK gene family consists of 39 members. Two CDPK members were selected whose gene expression was either increased (Zmcpk1) or decreased (Zmcpk25) in response to cold exposure. Biochemical analysis demonstrated that ZmCPK1 displays calcium-independent protein kinase activity. The C-terminal calcium-binding domain of ZmCPK1 was sufficient to mediate calcium independency of a previously calcium-dependent enzyme in chimeric ZmCPK25-CPK1 proteins. Furthermore, co-transfection of maize mesophyll protoplasts with active full-length ZmCPK1 suppressed the expression of a cold-induced marker gene, Zmerf3 (ZmCOI6.21). In accordance, heterologous overexpression of ZmCPK1 in Arabidopsis thaliana yielded plants with altered acclimation-induced frost tolerance. Our results identify ZmCPK1 as a negative regulator of cold stress signalling in maize.


Zea mays; kinase assay; phylogenetic tree

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free full text

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Wiley
Loading ...
Support Center