Editors' ChoicePlant biology

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Science Signaling  10 Jan 2012:
Vol. 5, Issue 206, pp. ec13
DOI: 10.1126/scisignal.2002824

The plant hormone abscisic acid (ABA) helps plants to respond to changes in the environment, such as drought. Physiological responses are initiated when ABA binds to its receptor. In the absence of ABA, downstream kinases are held inactive by phosphatases. Soon et al. (see the Perspective by Leung) now show that both the hormone-receptor complex and the downstream kinase bind to the same site on the phosphatase. Thus, in the presence of hormone, the phosphatase is occupied and unable to interfere with downstream kinase activity.

F.-F. Soon, L.-M. Ng, X. E. Zhou, G. M. West, A. Kovach, M. H. E. Tan, K. M. Suino-Powell, Y. He, Y. Xu, M. J. Chalmers, J. S. Brunzelle, H. Zhang, H. Yang, H. Jiang, J. Li, E.-L. Yong, S. Cutler, J.-K. Zhu, P. R. Griffin, K. Melcher, H. E. Xu, Molecular mimicry regulates ABA signaling by SnRK2 kinases and PP2C phosphatases. Science 335, 85–88 (2012). [Abstract] [Full Text]

J. Leung, Controlling hormone action by subversion and deception. Science 335, 46–47 (2012). [Abstract] [Full Text]