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Science 335 (6064): 46-47

Copyright © 2012 by the American Association for the Advancement of Science

Controlling Hormone Action by Subversion and Deception

Jeffrey Leung

The Nobel chemist Roald Hoffmann described molecular mimicry as a mechanism founded on subversion and deception. On page 85 of this issue, Soon et al. (1) report intriguing evidence for such mimicry in the transmission of signals elicited by the plant hormone abscisic acid (ABA). Using the model plant Arabidopsis thaliana, the authors show that the ABA-bound receptor and kinase alternately bind to a phosphatase, turning on and off this stress-responsive pathway, respectively. Not surprisingly, ABA is behind this "subversive" dealing in partner swapping.

Institut des Sciences du Végétal, Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, Unité Propre de Recherche 2355, 1 Avenue de la Terrasse, Bâtiment 23, 91198 Gif-sur-Yvette Cedex, France.

E-mail: leung{at}

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