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Plant J. 2015 Jun;82(6):1042-60. doi: 10.1111/tpj.12863. Epub 2015 May 22.

An autophosphorylation site database for leucine-rich repeat receptor-like kinases in Arabidopsis thaliana.

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Department of Horticultural Science, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC, 27695, USA.
Department of Molecular and Structural Biochemistry, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC, 27695, USA.
Department of Physiology and Neurobiology, University of Connecticut, Storrs, CT, 06269, USA.
USDA/ARS, University of Illinois, Urbana, IL, 61801, USA.


Leucine-rich repeat receptor-like kinases (LRR RLKs) form a large family of plant signaling proteins consisting of an extracellular domain connected by a single-pass transmembrane sequence to a cytoplasmic kinase domain. Autophosphorylation on specific Ser and/or Thr residues in the cytoplasmic domain is often critical for the activation of several LRR RLK family members with proven functional roles in plant growth regulation, morphogenesis, disease resistance, and stress responses. While identification and functional characterization of in vivo phosphorylation sites is ultimately required for a full understanding of LRR RLK biology and function, bacterial expression of recombinant LRR RLK cytoplasmic catalytic domains for identification of in vitro autophosphorylation sites provides a useful resource for further targeted identification and functional analysis of in vivo sites. In this study we employed high-throughput cloning and a variety of mass spectrometry approaches to generate an autophosphorylation site database representative of more than 30% of the approximately 223 LRR RLKs in Arabidopsis thaliana. We used His-tagged constructs of complete cytoplasmic domains to identify a total of 592 phosphorylation events across 73 LRR RLKs, with 497 sites uniquely assigned to specific Ser (268 sites) or Thr (229 sites) residues in 68 LRR RLKs. Multiple autophosphorylation sites per LRR RLK were the norm, with an average of seven sites per cytoplasmic domain, while some proteins showed more than 20 unique autophosphorylation sites. The database was used to analyze trends in the localization of phosphorylation sites across cytoplasmic kinase subdomains and to derive a statistically significant sequence motif for phospho-Ser autophosphorylation.


Arabidopsis thaliana; mass spectrometry; motif analysis; phosphorylation; receptor kinase

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