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Plant Physiol. 1999 Apr;119(4):1527-34.

An Arabidopsis GSK3/shaggy-like gene that complements yeast salt stress-sensitive mutants is induced by NaCl and abscisic acid.

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Department of Molecular Biology, Biotechnology Research Center, Gyeongsang National University, Chinju, 660-701, Korea.


GSK3/shaggy-like genes encode kinases that are involved in a variety of biological processes. By functional complementation of the yeast calcineurin mutant strain DHT22-1a with a NaCl stress-sensitive phenotype, we isolated the Arabidopsis cDNA AtGSK1, which encodes a GSK3/shaggy-like protein kinase. AtGSK1 rescued the yeast calcineurin mutant cells from the effects of high NaCl. Also, the AtGSK1 gene turned on the transcription of the NaCl stress-inducible PMR2A gene in the calcineurin mutant cells under NaCl stress. To further define the role of AtGSK1 in the yeast cells we introduced a deletion mutation at the MCK1 gene, a yeast homolog of GSK3, and examined the phenotype of the mutant. The mck1 mutant exhibited a NaCl stress-sensitive phenotype that was rescued by AtGSK1. Also, constitutive expression of MCK1 complemented the NaCl-sensitive phenotype of the calcineurin mutants. Therefore, these results suggest that Mck1p is involved in the NaCl stress signaling in yeast and that AtGSK1 may functionally replace Mck1p in the NaCl stress response in the calcineurin mutant. To investigate the biological function of AtGSK1 in Arabidopsis we examined the expression of AtGSK1. Northern-blot analysis revealed that the expression is differentially regulated in various tissues with a high level expression in flower tissues. In addition, the AtGSK1 expression was induced by NaCl and exogenously applied ABA but not by KCl. Taken together, these results suggest that AtGSK1 is involved in the osmotic stress response in Arabidopsis.

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