Pathogen-Secreted Proteases Activate a Novel Plant Immune Pathway
Woody, Owen Z.
McConkey, Brendan J.
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CitationCheng, Z., J. Li, Y. Niu, X. Zhang, O. Z. Woody, Y. Xiong, S. Djonović, et al. 2015. “Pathogen-Secreted Proteases Activate a Novel Plant Immune Pathway.” Nature 521 (7551): 213-216. doi:10.1038/nature14243. http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/nature14243.
AbstractMitogen-Activated Protein Kinase (MAPK) cascades play central roles in innate immune signaling networks in plants and animals1,2. In plants, however, the molecular mechanisms of how signal perception is transduced to MAPK activation remain elusive1. We report that pathogen-secreted proteases activate a previously unknown signaling pathway in Arabidopsis thaliana involving the Gα, Gβ and Gγ subunits of heterotrimeric G-protein complexes, which function upstream of a MAPK cascade. In this pathway, Receptor for Activated C Kinase 1 (RACK1) functions as a novel scaffold that binds to the Gβ subunit as well as to all three tiers of the MAPK cascade, thereby linking upstream G protein signaling to downstream activation of a MAPK cascade. The protease-G protein-RACK1-MAPK cascade modules identified in these studies are distinct from previously described plant immune signaling pathways such as the one elicited by bacterial flagellin, in which G proteins function downstream of or in parallel to a MAPK cascade without the involvement of the RACK1 scaffolding protein. The discovery of the novel protease-mediated immune signaling pathway described here was facilitated by the use of the broad host range, opportunistic bacterial pathogen Pseudomonas aeruginosa. The ability of P. aeruginosa to infect both plants and animals makes it an excellent model to identify novel types of immunoregulatory strategies that account for its niche adaptation to diverse host tissues and immune systems.
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