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Plant Physiol. 2012 Apr;158(4):1955-64. doi: 10.1104/pp.111.189829. Epub 2012 Jan 9.

Regulatory functions of SnRK1 in stress-responsive gene expression and in plant growth and development.

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Department of Biological Science, Sungkyunkwan University, Suwon, Gyeong-gi 440-746, Korea.


Sucrose-nonfermentation1-related protein kinase1 (SnRK1) is an evolutionarily conserved energy sensor protein that regulates gene expression in response to energy depletion in plants. Efforts to elucidate the functions and mechanisms of this protein kinase are hampered, however, by inherent growth defects of snrk1-null mutant plants. To overcome these limitations and study SnRK1 functions in vivo, we applied a method combining transient expression in leaf mesophyll protoplasts and stable expression in transgenic plants. We found that both rice (Oryza sativa) and Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana) SnRK1 activities critically influence stress-inducible gene expression and the induction of stress tolerance. Genetic, molecular, and chromatin immunoprecipitation analyses further revealed that the nuclear SnRK1 modulated target gene transcription in a submergence-dependent manner. From early seedling development through late senescence, SnRK1 activities appeared to modulate developmental processes in the plants. Our findings offer insight into the regulatory functions of plant SnRK1 in stress-responsive gene regulation and in plant growth and development throughout the life cycle.

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