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Front Plant Sci. 2015 Mar 25;6:170. doi: 10.3389/fpls.2015.00170. eCollection 2015.

How salicylic acid takes transcriptional control over jasmonic acid signaling.

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Plant-Microbe Interactions, Department of Biology, Faculty of Science, Utrecht University Utrecht, Netherlands.


Transcriptional regulation is a central process in plant immunity. The induction or repression of defense genes is orchestrated by signaling networks that are directed by plant hormones of which salicylic acid (SA) and jasmonic acid (JA) are the major players. Extensive cross-communication between the hormone signaling pathways allows for fine tuning of transcriptional programs, determining resistance to invaders and trade-offs with plant development. Here, we give an overview of how SA can control transcriptional reprogramming of JA-induced genes in Arabidopsis thaliana. SA can influence activity and/or localization of transcriptional regulators by post-translational modifications of transcription factors and co-regulators. SA-induced redox changes, mediated by thioredoxins and glutaredoxins, modify transcriptional regulators that are involved in suppression of JA-dependent genes, such as NPR1 and TGA transcription factors, which affects their localization or DNA binding activity. Furthermore, SA can mediate sequestering of JA-responsive transcription factors away from their target genes by stalling them in the cytosol or in complexes with repressor proteins in the nucleus. SA also affects JA-induced transcription by inducing degradation of transcription factors with an activating role in JA signaling, as was shown for the ERF transcription factor ORA59. Additionally, SA can induce negative regulators, among which WRKY transcription factors, that can directly or indirectly inhibit JA-responsive gene expression. Finally, at the DNA level, modification of histones by SA-dependent factors can result in repression of JA-responsive genes. These diverse and complex regulatory mechanisms affect important signaling hubs in the integration of hormone signaling networks. Some pathogens have evolved effectors that highjack hormone crosstalk mechanisms for their own good, which are described in this review as well.


hormone crosstalk; plant immunity; post-translational modifications; regulation of gene expression; transcription factors

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