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PNAS 100 (26): 16101-16106

Copyright © 2003 by the National Academy of Sciences.


High-affinity salicylic acid-binding protein 2 is required for plant innate immunity and has salicylic acid-stimulated lipase activity

Dhirendra Kumar Daniel F. Klessig*

Boyce Thompson Institute for Plant Research, Tower Road, Ithaca, NY 14853

Received for publication October 12, 2003.

Abstract: Salicylic acid (SA) is a critical hormone for signaling innate immunity in plants. Here we present the purification and characterization of SA-binding protein 2 (SABP2), a tobacco protein that is present in low abundance and specifically binds SA with high affinity. Sequence analysis predicted that SABP2 is a lipase belonging to the α/β fold hydrolase super family. Confirming this prediction, recombinant SABP2 exhibited lipase activity against several synthetic substrates. Moreover, this lipase activity was stimulated by SA binding and may generate a lipid-derived signal. Silencing of SABP2 expression suppressed local resistance to tobacco mosaic virus, induction of pathogenesis-related 1 (PR-1) gene expression by SA, and development of systemic acquired resistance. Together, these results suggest that SABP2 is an SA receptor that is required for the plant immune response. We further propose that SABP2 belongs to a large class of ligand-stimulated hydrolases involved in stress hormone-mediated signal transduction.

* To whom correspondence should be addressed. E-mail: dfk8{at}

Communicated by June B. Nasrallah, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY, November 4, 2003

Abbreviations: SA, salicylic acid; PR, pathogenesis-related; rSABP2, recombinant SABP2; SABP2L, SABP2-like; SAR, systemic acquired resistance; TMV, tobacco mosaic virus; AP, Amersham Pharmacia.

Data deposition: The sequences reported in this paper have been deposited in the GenBank database [accession nos. AY485932 [GenBank] (SABP2); AAO22676 [GenBank] (A. thaliana), CAA11219 [GenBank] (M. esculenta), P52704 [GenBank] (H. brasiliensis), and Q43360 [GenBank] (O. sativa, Pir7b)].

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