Structural Biology of Jasmonic Acid Metabolism and Responses in Plants

  • Cynthia K. Holland
  • Joseph M. JezEmail author


Jasmonic acid (JA) and its many derivatives constitute a diverse family of modified oxylipins that are involved in hormonal defense responses, growth regulation, and other aspects of plant physiology. To respond to external cues, plants synthesize jasmonyl-isoleucine (JA-Ile), the active form of the hormone, using the acyl acid amido synthetase JAR1. JA-Ile then targets the jasmonate F-box receptor (i.e., the COI1-ASK1 complex), and recruits JASMONATE-ZIM DOMAIN PROTEIN (JAZ) proteins. This results in degradation of the JAZ protein repressor to regulate jasmonate gene responses. Alternatively, when JA-Ile levels decline, JAZ proteins can bind an array of co-repressors and transcription factors to down-regulate JA responses. Three-dimensional structures of the protein players involved in JA signaling shed light on the molecular architecture of the binding interactions between proteins and the specific chemistry of the enzymes. Additionally, structures of the JA biosynthesis and modifying enzymes provide insight into the strict stereospecific formation of JA (i.e., 3R, 7S-jasmonate), as well as decorated forms of JA. Here we provide an up-to-date look into the structural investigations of JA signaling and metabolism and suggest future areas of study that remain to be understood on the molecular level.


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of BiologyWashington University in St. LouisSt. LouisUSA

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