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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1999 Feb 16;96(4):1767-72.

An abscisic acid-induced protein kinase, PKABA1, mediates abscisic acid-suppressed gene expression in barley aleurone layers.

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Department of Biology, Washington University, St. Louis, MO 63130, USA.


The phytohormone abscisic acid (ABA) induces genes-encoding proteins involved in desiccation tolerance and dormancy in seeds, but ABA also suppresses gibberellin (GA)-responsive genes encoding hydrolytic enzymes essential for postgermination growth. A unique serine/threonine protein kinase, PKABA1 mRNA, up-regulated by ABA in seeds, has been identified. In this report, the effect of PKABA1 on the signal transduction pathway mediating ABA induction and suppression of genes has been determined in aleurone layers of barley seeds. Two groups of gene constructs were introduced to barley aleurone layers by using particle bombardment: the reporter constructs containing the coding sequence of beta-glucuronidase gene linked to hormone-responsive promoters and the effector constructs containing the coding region of protein kinases linked to a constitutive promoter. Constitutive expression of PKABA1 drastically suppressed expression of low- and high-pI alpha-amylase and protease genes induced by GA. However, the presence of PKABA1 had only a small effect on the ABA induction of a gene encoding a late embryogenesis abundant protein, HVA1. Our results indicate that PKABA1 acts as a key intermediate in the signal transduction pathway leading to the suppression of GA-inducible gene expression in cereal aleurone layers.

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