- SNF1-related protein kinases type 2 are involved in plant responses to cadmium stress.
- Plant Physiology
- Volume | Issue number
- 160 | 2
- Pages (from-to)
- Document type
- Faculty of Science (FNWI)
- Swammerdam Institute for Life Sciences (SILS)
Cadmium ions are notorious environmental pollutants. To adapt to cadmium-induced deleterious effects plants have developed sophisticated defense mechanisms. However, the signaling pathways underlying the plant response to cadmium are still elusive. Our data demonstrate that SnRK2s (for SNF1-related protein kinase2) are transiently activated during cadmium exposure and are involved in the regulation of plant response to this stress. Analysis of tobacco (Nicotiana tabacum) Osmotic Stress-Activated Protein Kinase activity in tobacco Bright Yellow 2 cells indicates that reactive oxygen species (ROS) and nitric oxide, produced mainly via an l-arginine-dependent process, contribute to the kinase activation in response to cadmium. SnRK2.4 is the closest homolog of tobacco Osmotic Stress-Activated Protein Kinase in Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana). Comparative analysis of seedling growth of snrk2.4 knockout mutants versus wild-type Arabidopsis suggests that SnRK2.4 is involved in the inhibition of root growth triggered by cadmium; the mutants were more tolerant to the stress. Measurements of the level of three major species of phytochelatins (PCs) in roots of plants exposed to Cd(2+) showed a similar (PC2, PC4) or lower (PC3) concentration in snrk2.4 mutants in comparison to wild-type plants. These results indicate that the enhanced tolerance of the mutants does not result from a difference in the PCs level. Additionally, we have analyzed ROS accumulation in roots subjected to Cd(2+) treatment. Our data show significantly lower Cd(2+)-induced ROS accumulation in the mutants' roots. Concluding, the obtained results indicate that SnRK2s play a role in the regulation of plant tolerance to cadmium, most probably by controlling ROS accumulation triggered by cadmium ions.
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