Research ArticlePlant biology

Methylation of a Phosphatase Specifies Dephosphorylation and Degradation of Activated Brassinosteroid Receptors

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Science Signaling  10 May 2011:
Vol. 4, Issue 172, pp. ra29
DOI: 10.1126/scisignal.2001258

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Maintaining Receptor Balance

Brassinosteroids control many aspects of plant development. Their receptors constitutively cycle between the cell surface and the internal membranes. Wu et al. now show that degradation of the brassinosteroid receptor BRI1 is stimulated by dephosphorylation of activated receptors and that the dephosphorylation is specified by methylation of a phosphatase, which causes the phosphatase to accumulate in membranes where it would encounter BRI1. These results provide insight into a regulatory mechanism controlling the abundance of receptors that constitutively cycle and suggest that cells can discriminate between unphosphorylated receptors that have not been activated (continue to cycle) and activated receptors that were subsequently dephosphorylated (become degraded).

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