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J Exp Bot. 2015 Aug;66(17):5367-74. doi: 10.1093/jxb/erv284. Epub 2015 Jun 30.

Antagonistic peptide technology for functional dissection of CLE peptides revisited.

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Division of Plant and Crop Sciences, School of Biosciences, University of Nottingham, Loughborough LE12 5RD, UK.
Department of Biosciences, Section for Genetics and Evolutionary Biology, University of Oslo, N-0316 Oslo, Norway.
Department of Plant Molecular Biology, University of Lausanne, CH-1015, Lausanne, Switzerland.
Institute for Developmental Genetics, Heinrich-Heine University, D-40225 Düsseldorf, Germany.
Division of Plant and Crop Sciences, School of Biosciences, University of Nottingham, Loughborough LE12 5RD, UK Centre for Plant Integrative Biology, University of Nottingham, Loughborough LE12 5RD, UK Department of Plant Systems Biology, VIB, B-9052 Ghent, Belgium Department of Plant Biotechnology and Genetics, Ghent University, B-9052 Ghent, Belgium


In the Arabidopsis thaliana genome, over 1000 putative genes encoding small, presumably secreted, signalling peptides can be recognized. However, a major obstacle in identifying the function of genes encoding small signalling peptides is the limited number of available loss-of-function mutants. To overcome this, a promising new tool, antagonistic peptide technology, was recently developed. Here, this antagonistic peptide technology was tested on selected CLE peptides and the related IDA peptide and its usefulness in the context of studies of peptide function discussed. Based on the analyses, it was concluded that the antagonistic peptide approach is not the ultimate means to overcome redundancy or lack of loss-of-function lines. However, information collected using antagonistic peptide approaches (in the broad sense) can be very useful, but these approaches do not work in all cases and require a deep insight on the interaction between the ligand and its receptor to be successful. This, as well as peptide ligand structure considerations, should be taken into account before ordering a wide range of synthetic peptide variants and/or generating transgenic plants.


CLE; IDA; peptide structure; peptide variants; root; small signalling peptides.

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