Abscisic acid (ABA) plays an essential role in seed germination. In this study, we demonstrate that one SNF1-RELATED PROTEIN KINASE3-type protein kinase, SOS2-LIKE PROTEIN KINASE5 (PKS5), is involved in ABA signal transduction via the phosphorylation of an interacting protein, ABSCISIC ACID-INSENSITIVE5 (ABI5). We found that pks5-3 and pks5-4, two previously identified PKS5 superactive kinase mutants with point mutations in the PKS5 FISL/NAF (a conserved peptide that is necessary for interaction with SOS3 or SOS3-LIKE CALCIUM BINDING PROTEINs) motif and the kinase domain, respectively, are hypersensitive to ABA during seed germination. PKS5 was found to interact with ABI5 in yeast (Saccharomyces cerevisiae), and this interaction was further confirmed in planta using bimolecular fluorescence complementation. Genetic studies revealed that ABI5 is epistatic to PKS5. PKS5 phosphorylates a serine (Ser) residue at position 42 in ABI5 and regulates ABA-responsive gene expression. This phosphorylation was induced by ABA in vivo and transactivated ABI5. Expression of ABI5, in which Ser-42 was mutated to alanine, could not fully rescue the ABA-insensitive phenotypes of the abi5-8 and pks5-4abi5-8 mutants. In contrast, mutating Ser-42 to aspartate rescued the ABA insensitivity of these mutants. These data demonstrate that PKS5- mediated phosphorylation of ABI5 at Ser-42 is critical for the ABA regulation of seed germination and gene expression in Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana).
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Plant Science