Date: 07 Nov 2009

Protein Kinases and Phosphatases for Stress Signal Transduction in Plants

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Adverse environmental conditions that threaten plant growth and development are known as environmental stresses. To survive stress, plants employ a complex set of distinct signaling pathways that trigger stress-specific tolerance or avoidance in the organism as a whole. An important biochemical mechanism for regulating such pathways is reversible protein phosphorylation. In this process, the activity of a pathway is modulated through either the addition or removal of phosphate groups to individual pathway components. Protein kinases and protein phosphatases often act in tandem to perform the phosphorylation and de-phosphorylation process. Here, we’ll review recent progress made in understanding several of the large gene families that encode protein kinases and phosphatases involved in stress signaling in plants. In particular, we discuss the receptor-like kinase, mitogen-activated protein kinases, and calcium-regulated protein kinase gene families, as well as the three major phosphatase-related gene families: protein phosphatase P, protein phosphatase M, and protein tyrosine phosphatases.