Journal ClubCell Biology

New Regulator for Energy Signaling Pathway in Plants Highlights Conservation Among Species

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Sci. Signal.  27 Apr 2010:
Vol. 3, Issue 119, pp. jc5
DOI: 10.1126/scisignal.3119jc5

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The “low-energy checkpoint” SNF1-related protein kinases, which are conserved in all eukaryotes, play an important role in cellular metabolic adaptation to differences in energy and oxygen availability. Although the signaling pathways involved in such metabolic adaptations are well understood in yeast and mammals, they have been poorly understood in plants. A recent study revealed that calcineurin B–like interacting protein kinase 15 (CIPK15) acted as a global regulator of such adaptations, linking the response to O2 deficiency with the response to carbohydrate starvation in rice (Oryza sativa). Knockout mutants of Nipponbare rice CIPK15 failed to initiate transcription of the glycolytic enzymes α-amylase 3 and alcohol dehydrogenase 2, which mediate fermentative metabolism for adenosine triphosphate generation under anaerobic conditions. Targeted manipulation of OsCIPK15 might facilitate rice cultivation and ensure agricultural productivity in regions subject to flooding. Here, we highlight the importance of the energy- and oxygen-sensing pathway indicated by its conservation among different eukaryotic kingdoms.

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