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Development 137 (22): 3911-3920


RESEARCH ARTICLE

RPK2 is an essential receptor-like kinase that transmits the CLV3 signal in Arabidopsis

Atsuko Kinoshita1, Shigeyuki Betsuyaku1,2, Yuriko Osakabe3, Shinji Mizuno4,5, Shingo Nagawa1,6, Yvonne Stahl7, Rüdiger Simon7, Kazuko Yamaguchi-Shinozaki3,5, Hiroo Fukuda1, and Shinichiro Sawa1,*

1 Department of Biological Sciences, Graduate School of Science, University of Tokyo, Hongo 7-3-1, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo 113-0033, Japan.
2 Division of Life Sciences, Komaba Organization for Educational Excellence (KOMEX), Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, University of Tokyo, Komaba 3-8-1, Meguro-ku, Tokyo 153-8902, Japan.
3 Laboratory of Plant Molecular Physiology, Graduate School of Agricultural and Life Sciences, The University of Tokyo, Tokyo 113-8657, Japan.
4 Graduate School of Science and Technology, Chiba University, Inage, Chiba 263-8522, Japan.
5 Biological Resources Division, Japan International Research Center for Agricultural Sciences, Tsukuba, Ibaraki 305-8686, Japan.
6 Botany and Plant Sciences, University of California, Riverside, 3401 Watkins Drive, Riverside, CA 92521, USA.
7 Institut für Genetik der Heinrich-Heine Universität, D-40225 Düsseldorf, Germany.

* Author for correspondence (sawa{at}biol.s.u-tokyo.ac.jp)

Accepted for publication 14 September 2010.

Abstract: The shoot apical meristem (SAM) is the fundamental structure that is located at the growing tip and gives rise to all aerial parts of plant tissues and organs, such as leaves, stems and flowers. In Arabidopsis thaliana, the CLAVATA3 (CLV3) pathway regulates the stem cell pool in the SAM, in which a small peptide ligand derived from CLV3 is perceived by two major receptor complexes, CLV1 and CLV2-CORYNE (CRN)/SUPPRESSOR OF LLP1 2 (SOL2), to restrict WUSCHEL (WUS) expression. In this study, we used the functional, synthetic CLV3 peptide (MCLV3) to isolate CLV3-insensitive mutants and revealed that a receptor-like kinase, RECEPTOR-LIKE PROTEIN KINASE 2 (RPK2), also known as TOADSTOOL 2 (TOAD2), is another key regulator of meristem maintenance. Mutations in the RPK2 gene result in stem cell expansion and increased number of floral organs, as seen in the other clv mutants. These phenotypes are additive with both clv1 and clv2 mutations. Moreover, our biochemical analyses using Nicotiana benthamiana revealed that RPK2 forms homo-oligomers but does not associate with CLV1 or CLV2. These genetic and biochemical findings suggest that three major receptor complexes, RPK2 homomers, CLV1 homomers and CLV2-CRN/SOL2 heteromers, are likely to mediate three signalling pathways, mainly in parallel but with potential crosstalk, to regulate the SAM homeostasis.

Key Words: ArabidopsisMeristemCLAVATA3 signalling pathwayReceptor-like kinase


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