MAP3Kinase-dependent SnRK2-kinase activation is required for abscisic acid signal transduction and rapid osmotic stress response

Yohei Takahashi, Jingbo Zhang, Po Kai Hsu, Paulo H.O. Ceciliato, Li Zhang, Guillaume Dubeaux, Shintaro Munemasa, Chennan Ge, Yunde Zhao, Felix Hauser, Julian I. Schroeder

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

94 Citations (Scopus)


Abiotic stresses, including drought and salinity, trigger a complex osmotic-stress and abscisic acid (ABA) signal transduction network. The core ABA signalling components are snf1-related protein kinase2s (SnRK2s), which are activated by ABA-triggered inhibition of type-2C protein-phosphatases (PP2Cs). SnRK2 kinases are also activated by a rapid, largely unknown, ABA-independent osmotic-stress signalling pathway. Here, through a combination of a redundancy-circumventing genetic screen and biochemical analyses, we have identified functionally-redundant MAPKK-kinases (M3Ks) that are necessary for activation of SnRK2 kinases. These M3Ks phosphorylate a specific SnRK2/OST1 site, which is indispensable for ABA-induced reactivation of PP2C-dephosphorylated SnRK2 kinases. ABA-triggered SnRK2 activation, transcription factor phosphorylation and SLAC1 activation require these M3Ks in vitro and in plants. M3K triple knock-out plants show reduced ABA sensitivity and strongly impaired rapid osmotic-stress-induced SnRK2 activation. These findings demonstrate that this M3K clade is required for ABA- and osmotic-stress-activation of SnRK2 kinases, enabling robust ABA and osmotic stress signal transduction.

Original languageEnglish
Article number12
JournalNature communications
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Dec 1 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Physics and Astronomy(all)


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