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Plant Physiol Biochem. 2008 May-Jun;46(5-6):533-40. doi: 10.1016/j.plaphy.2008.02.009. Epub 2008 Mar 2.

Cloning and characterization of a novel LpWRKY1 transcription factor in tomato.

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Department of Pharmaceutical Biology, Julius von Sachs Institute, Julius von Sachs Platz-2, 97082 Wuerzburg, Germany.


The initiation of defence responses in plants is accompanied by fundamental changes in gene expression: the expression of pathogenesis-related genes is co-ordinately regulated with metabolic changes such as down regulation of photosynthesis and induction of sink metabolism. To identify candidate regulators of this co-ordinated regulatory mechanism, the role of WRKY transcription factors in the initiation of defence response was analysed in tomato. A WRKY-type transcription factor (LpWRKY1) from tomato was cloned by a reverse Northern approach. The corresponding mRNA is rapidly and transiently induced after challenging the cells with an elicitor-preparation derived from the wilt inducing fungus Fusarium oxysporum lycopersici (E-FOL) and the fungal elicitor chitosan, whereas the endogenous signals systemin and salicylic acid are inactive. Inhibition of protein biosynthesis by cycloheximide results in sustained induction of mRNA for LpWRKY1. In contrast, the transient induction of the gene encoding LpWRKY1 in response to elicitation by E-FOL is inhibited by the protein-kinase inhibitor staurosporine and may be mimicked by the phosphatase inhibitors endothall and cantharidine indicating the involvement of protein phosphorylation in the regulation of WRKY-type transcription factors. Direct proof of this postranslational modification of LpWRKY1 was obtained by demonstrating in-gel kinase assays using recombinant LpWRKY1 as substrate. A 44kDa and a 67 kDa protein kinase were shown to be transiently activated to phosphorylate LpWRKY1 protein in response to elicitation with E-FOL.

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