Plant Cell Reports

, Volume 27, Issue 4, pp 739–748 | Cite as

Characterization of a family of Arabidopsis receptor-like cytoplasmic kinases (RLCK class VI)

  • Manuela E. Jurca
  • Sándor Bottka
  • Attila FehérEmail author
Genetics and Genomics


The receptor-like cytoplasmic protein kinases (RLCKs) are plant-specific proteins encoded by almost 200 genes in the Arabidopsis genome. Despite of their high number, the available information on the potential function of RLCKs is very limited. In this report, the sequence analysis and the gene expression pattern of 14 members of one of the Arabidopsis RLCK families (RLCK class VI) are described. Sequence comparison indicated that gene duplication played a significant role in the formation of the kinase family and that several members carry an N-terminal “universal stress protein” (UspA) domain. In order to gain insight into the potential function of the RLCK VI kinases, real-time quantitative reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR) was used to determine the relative transcript levels in the various organs of the Arabidopsis plant as well as under a series of abiotic stress/hormone treatments in seedlings. The obtained data revealed the differentially regulated expression of the genes in agreement with a high variability of sequence elements in their promoters. The divergent expression patterns indicate that the encoded kinase proteins may be involved in a wide variety of signal transduction pathways related to plant development and stress responses. The significance of gene duplication and expression divergence in the extension of the Arabidopsis RLCK VI family during evolution is discussed.


Abiotic stress treatment Arabidopsis thaliana Gene expression Gene duplication Organs Real-time quantitative PCR qRT-PCR UspA domain 



This work was supported by grants from the Hungarian Scientific Research Fund (OTKA T49491, IN64230). A. Fehér is thankful for the support of the “János Bólyai” research fellowship.

Supplementary material

299_2007_494_MOESM1_ESM.rtf (577 kb)
Supplementary material 1. Alignment of the amino acid sequences of the 14 RLCK VI proteins and three further Arabidopsis kinases. AGI codes of the corresponding genes (left) and the designation of the kinase proteins (right) are shown. The position of the conserved eukaryotic kinase motifs (I-XI) are is indicated below the sequences. (RTF 560 kb)
299_2007_494_MOESM2_ESM.tif (1.8 mb)
Supplementary material 2. Comparison of the gene expression data obtained by qRT-PCR in the present study with the whole-genome microarray data obtained from the Genevestigator database ( for various Arabidopsis organs. In order to be able to directly compare the results, the absolute signal intensities obtained from the real-time PCR and microarray hybridization experiments, respectively, have been subjected to the same way of normalisation using the actin2/8 (At3g18780/At1g49240) genes as reference and the normalized values were related to the average signal intensity (relative expression). RT – real time quantitative PCR data; MA – microarray datasets (TIF 1.76 Mb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Manuela E. Jurca
    • 1
  • Sándor Bottka
    • 1
  • Attila Fehér
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Institute of Plant Biology, Biological Research CentreHungarian Academy of SciencesSzegedHungary

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