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New Insight into HPts as Hubs in Poplar Cytokinin and Osmosensing Multistep Phosphorelays: Cytokinin Pathway Uses Specific HPts

Abstract : We have previously identified proteins in poplar which belong to an osmosensing (OS) signaling pathway, called a multistep phosphorelay (MSP). The MSP comprises histidine-aspartate kinases (HK), which act as membrane receptors; histidine phosphotransfer (HPt) proteins, which act as phosphorelay proteins; and response regulators (RR), some of which act as transcription factors. In this study, we identified the HK proteins homologous to the Arabidopsis cytokinin (CK) receptors, which are first partners in the poplar cytokinin MSP, and focused on specificity of these two MSPs (CK and OS), which seem to share the same pool of HPt proteins. Firstly, we isolated five CK HKs from poplar which are homologous to Arabidopsis AHK2, AHK3, and AHK4, namely, HK2, HK3a, HK3b, HK4a, HK4b. These HKs were shown to be functional kinases, as observed in a functional complementation of a yeast HK deleted strain. Moreover, one of these HKs, HK4a, was shown to have kinase activity dependent on the presence of CK. Exhaustive interaction tests between these five CK HKs and the 10 HPts characterized in poplar were performed using two-hybrid and BiFC experiments. The resulting partnership was compared to that previously identified between putative osmosensors HK1a/1b and HPt proteins. Finally, in planta coexpression analysis of genes encoding these potential partners revealed that almost all HPts are coexpressed with CK HKs in four different poplar organs. Overall, these results allowed us to unravel the common and specific partnerships existing between OS and CK MSP in Populus.
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François Hericourt, Mélanie Larcher, Françoise Chefdor, Konstantinos Koudounas, Ines Carqueijeiro, et al.. New Insight into HPts as Hubs in Poplar Cytokinin and Osmosensing Multistep Phosphorelays: Cytokinin Pathway Uses Specific HPts. Plants, MDPI, 2019, 8 (12), pp.591. ⟨10.3390/plants8120591⟩. ⟨hal-02527679⟩

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