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Free Content A protein phosphatase 2A catalytic subunit is a negative regulator of abscisic acid signalling

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The key regulatory role of abscisic acid (ABA) in many physiological processes in plants is well established. However, compared with other plant hormones, the molecular mechanisms underlying ABA signalling are poorly characterized. In this work, a specific catalytic subunit of protein phosphatase 2A (PP2Ac-2) has been identified as a component of the signalling pathway that represses responses to ABA. A loss-of-function pp2ac-2 mutant is hypersensitive to ABA. Moreover, pp2ac-2 plants have altered responses in developmental and environmental processes that are mediated by ABA, such as primary and lateral root development, seed germination and responses to drought and high salt and sugar stresses. Conversely, transgenic plants overexpressing PP2Ac-2 are less sensitive to ABA than wild type, a phenotype that is manifested in all the above-mentioned physiological processes. DNA microarray hybridization experiments reveal that PP2Ac-2 is negatively involved in ABA responses through regulation of ABA-dependent gene expression. Moreover, the results obtained indicate that ABA antagonistically regulates PP2Ac-2 expression and PP2Ac-2 activity thus allowing plant sensitivity to the hormone to be reset after induction. Phenotypic, genetic and gene expression data strongly suggest that PP2Ac-2 is a negative regulator of the ABA pathway. Activity of protein phosphatase 2A thus emerges as a key element in the control of ABA signalling.
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Keywords: ABA-regulated transcription; lateral root formation; protein phosphorylation; seed germination; water deficit

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: September 1, 2007

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