, Volume 232, Issue 5, pp 1061-1074,
Open Access This content is freely available online to anyone, anywhere at any time.
Date: 10 Aug 2010

CLE14/CLE20 peptides may interact with CLAVATA2/CORYNE receptor-like kinases to irreversibly inhibit cell division in the root meristem of Arabidopsis


Towards an understanding of the interacting nature of the CLAVATA (CLV) complex, we predicted the 3D structures of CLV3/ESR-related (CLE) peptides and the ectodomain of their potential receptor proteins/kinases, and docking models of these molecules. The results show that the ectodomain of CLV1 can form homodimers and that the 12-/13-amino-acid CLV3 peptide fits into the binding clefts of the CLV1 dimers. Our results also demonstrate that the receptor domain of CORYNE (CRN), a recently identified receptor-like kinase, binds tightly to the ectodomain of CLV2, and this likely leads to an increased possibility for docking with CLV1. Furthermore, our docking models reveal that two CRN-CLV2 ectodomain heterodimers are able to form a tetramer receptor complex. Peptides of CLV3, CLE14, CLE19, and CLE20 are also able to bind a potential CLV2-CRN heterodimer or heterotetramer complex. Using a cell-division reporter line, we found that synthetic 12-amino-acid CLE14 and CLE20 peptides inhibit, irreversibly, root growth by reducing cell division rates in the root apical meristem, resulting in a short-root phenotype. Intriguingly, we observed that exogenous application of cytokinin can partially rescue the short-root phenotype induced by over-expression of either CLE14 or CLE20 in planta. However, cytokinin treatment does not rescue the short-root phenotype caused by exogenous application of the synthetic CLE14/CLE20 peptides, suggesting a requirement for a condition provided only in living plants. These results therefore imply that the CLE14/CLE20 peptides may act through the CLV2-CRN receptor kinase, and that their availabilities and/or abundances may be affected by cytokinin activity in planta.