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Mol Cell. 1998 May;1(6):807-17.

Osmotin, a plant antifungal protein, subverts signal transduction to enhance fungal cell susceptibility.

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Plant Molecular Biology and Biotechnology Research Center, Gyeongsang National University Chinju, Korea.


The plant pathogenesis-related protein osmotin is an antifungal cytotoxic agent that causes rapid cell death in the yeast S. cerevisiae. We show here that osmotin uses a signal transduction pathway to weaken defensive cell wall barriers and increase its cytotoxic efficacy. The pathway activated by osmotin includes the regulatory elements of the mating pheromone response STE4, STE18, STE20, STE5, STE11, STE7, FUS3, KSS1, and STE12. Neither the pheromone receptor nor its associated G protein alpha subunit GPA1 are required for osmotin action. However, mutation of SST2, a negative regulator of G alpha proteins, resulted in supersensitivity to osmotin. Phosphorylation of STE7 was rapidly stimulated by osmotin preceding any changes in cell vitality or morphology. These results demonstrate that osmotin subverts target cell signal transduction as part of its mechanism of action.

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