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J. Biol. Chem. 275 (11): 7521-7526

© 2000 by The American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Inc.

J Biol Chem, Vol. 275, Issue 11, 7521-7526, March 17, 2000

Microbial Elicitors Induce Activation and Dual Phosphorylation of the Arabidopsis thaliana MAPK 6*

Thomas S. NühseDagger , Scott C. PeckDagger , Heribert Hirt§, and Thomas BollerDagger

From the Dagger  Friedrich-Miescher-Institut, Maulbeerstr. 66, 4058 Basel, Switzerland and the § Institute of Microbiology and Genetics, Vienna Biocenter, University of Vienna, Dr. Bohrgasse 9, 1030 Vienna, Austria

Protein kinases related to the family of mitogen-activated kinases (MAPKs) have been established as signal transduction components in a variety of processes in plants. For Arabidopsis thaliana, however, although one of the genetically best studied plant species, biochemical data on activation of mitogen-activated protein kinases are lacking. A. thaliana MAPK 6 (AtMPK6) is the Arabidopsis orthologue of a tobacco MAPK termed salicylate-induced protein kinase, which is activated by general and race-specific elicitors as well as by physical stress. Using a C terminus-specific antibody, we show that AtMPK6 is activated in elicitor-treated cell cultures of A. thaliana. Four different elicitors from bacteria, fungi, and plants lead to a rapid and transient activation of AtMPK6, indicating a conserved signaling pathway. The induction was equally rapid as medium alkalinization, one of the earliest elicitor response observed in cell cultures. A similarly rapid activation of AtMPK6 was observed in elicitor-treated leaf strips, demonstrating that recognition of the elicitors and activation of the MAPK pathway occurs also in intact plants. We demonstrate by in vivo labeling that AtMPK6 is phosphorylated on threonine and tyrosine residues in elicited cells.

* This work was supported by a European Molecular Biology Organization long term fellowship (to S. C. P.).The costs of publication of this article were defrayed in part by the payment of page charges. The article must therefore be hereby marked "advertisement" in accordance with 18 U.S.C. Section 1734 solely to indicate this fact.

To whom correspondence should be addressed: Friedrich-Miescher-Institut, P.O. box 2543, 4002 Basel, Switzerland. Tel.: 41 61 6975240; Fax: 41 61 6974527; E-mail:

Copyright © 2000 by The American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Inc.

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