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J Exp Bot. 2016 Jun;67(13):3855-72. doi: 10.1093/jxb/erw157. Epub 2016 Apr 25.

Know where your clients are: subcellular localization and targets of calcium-dependent protein kinases.

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Department of Ecogenomics and Systems Biology, University of Vienna, Althanstr. 14, 1090 Vienna, Austria.
Department of Ecogenomics and Systems Biology, University of Vienna, Althanstr. 14, 1090 Vienna, Austria


Calcium-dependent protein kinases (CDPKs) are at the forefront of decoding transient Ca(2+) signals into physiological responses. They play a pivotal role in many aspects of plant life starting from pollen tube growth, during plant development, and in stress response to senescence and cell death. At the cellular level, Ca(2+) signals have a distinct, narrow distribution, thus requiring a conjoined localization of the decoders. Accordingly, most CDPKs have a distinct subcellular distribution which enables them to 'sense' the local Ca(2+) concentration and to interact specifically with their targets. Here we present a comprehensive overview of identified CDPK targets and discuss them in the context of kinase-substrate specificity and subcellular distribution of the CDPKs. This is particularly relevant for calcium-mediated phosphorylation where different CDPKs, as well as other kinases, were frequently reported to be involved in the regulation of the same target. However, often these studies were not performed in an in situ context. Thus, considering the specific expression patterns, distinct subcellular distribution, and different Ca(2+) affinities of CDPKs will narrow down the number of potential CDPKs for one given target. A number of aspects still remain unresolved, giving rise to pending questions for future research.


Acclimation to stress; CDPK; calcium signalling; protein kinase; regulation of metabolism; subcellular localization.

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