Plant Histidine Kinases: An Emerging Picture of Two-Component Signal Transduction in Hormone and Environmental Responses

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Science's STKE  20 Nov 2001:
Vol. 2001, Issue 109, pp. re18
DOI: 10.1126/stke.2001.109.re18

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Protein phosphorylation is a key mechanism for intracellular signal transduction in both eukaryotic and prokaryotic cells. This process is catalyzed by protein kinases that are classified into three major groups based on their substrate specificities: (i) serine-threonine kinases, (ii) tyrosine kinases, and (iii) histidine kinases. Plants, yeast, and bacteria use histidine kinase signaling mechanisms to sense and respond to changes in the environment and to growth regulatory signals. This review highlights the lessons learned from the sequencing of the Arabidopsis thaliana genome regarding the histidine kinase two-component signal transduction cascades in plants. Thus far, histidine kinases in Arabidopsis are involved in signal transduction of the plant growth regulators ethylene and cytokinin, and in signaling changes in osmotic conditions.