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MPK4 Phosphorylation Dynamics and Interacting Proteins in Plant Immunity

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posted on 11.01.2019, 00:00 by Tong Zhang, Jacqueline D. Schneider, Chuwei Lin, Sisi Geng, Tianyi Ma, Sheldon R. Lawrence, Craig P. Dufresne, Alice C. Harmon, Sixue Chen
Arabidopsis MAP kinase 4 (MPK4) has been proposed to be a negative player in plant immunity, and it is also activated by pathogen-associated molecular patterns (PAMPs), such as flg22. The molecular mechanisms by which MPK4 is activated and regulates plant defense remain elusive. In this study, we investigated Arabidopsis defense against a bacterial pathogen Pseudomonas syringae pv tomato (Pst) DC3000 when Brassica napus MPK4 (BnMPK4) is overexpressed. We showed an increase in pathogen resistance and suppression of jasmonic acid (JA) signaling in the BnMPK4 overexpressing (OE) plants. We also showed that the OE plants have increased sensitivity to flg22-triggered reactive oxygen species (ROS) burst in guard cells, which resulted in enhanced stomatal closure compared to wild-type (WT). During flg22 activation, dynamic phosphorylation events within and outside of the conserved TEY activation loop were observed. To elucidate how BnMPK4 functions during the defense response, we used immunoprecipitation coupled with mass spectrometry (IP-MS) to identify BnMPK4 interacting proteins in the absence and presence of flg22. Quantitative proteomic analysis revealed a shift in the MPK4-associated protein network, providing insight into the molecular functions of MPK4 at the systems level.