Activation of SnRK2 by the Raf-like kinase ARK represents a common mechanism of ABA response in embryophytes

BioRxiv : the Preprint Server for Biology
Daisuke TakezawaYoichi Sakata


The Raf-like protein kinase ARK previously identified in the moss Physcomitrella patens acts as an upstream regulator of subgroup III SnRK2, the key regulator of abscisic acid (ABA) and abiotic stress responses. However, the mechanisms underlying activation of ARK by ABA and abiotic stress for the regulation of SnRK2 including the role of ABA receptor-associated group A PP2C (PP2C-A) are not understood. We identified Ser1029 as the phosphorylation site in the activation loop of ARK, which provided a possible mechanism for regulation of its activity. Analysis of transgenic ark lines expressing ARK-GFP with Ser1029-to-Ala mutation indicated that this replacement causes reductions in ABA-induced gene expression, stress tolerance and SnRK2 activity. Immunoblot analysis using an anti-phosphopeptide antibody indicated that ABA treatments rapidly stimulate Ser1029 phosphorylation in wild type. The phosphorylation profile of Ser1029 in ABA-hypersensitive ppabi1 lacking PP2C-A was similar to that in wild type, whereas little Ser1029 phosphorylation was observed in ABA-insensitive ark missense lines. Furthermore, newly isolated ppabi1 ark lines showed ABA-insensitive phenotypes similar to those of ark lines. These results indicate that A...Continue Reading

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