- Interaction of Medicago truncatula Lysin Motif Receptor-Like Kinases, NFP and LYK3, Produced in Nicotiana benthamiana Induces Defence-Like Responses
- PLoS One
- Volume | Issue number
- 8 | 6
- Number of pages
- Document type
- Faculty of Science (FNWI)
- Swammerdam Institute for Life Sciences (SILS)
Receptor(-like) kinases with Lysin Motif (LysM) domains in their extracellular region play crucial roles during plant interactions with microorganisms; e.g. Arabidopsis thaliana CERK1 activates innate immunity upon perception of fungal chitin/chitooligosaccharides, whereas Medicago truncatula NFP and LYK3 mediate signalling upon perception of bacterial lipo-chitooligosaccharides, termed Nod factors, during the establishment of mutualism with nitrogen-fixing rhizobia. However, little is still known about the exact activation and signalling mechanisms of MtNFP and MtLYK3. We aimed at investigating putative molecular interactions of MtNFP and MtLYK3 produced in Nicotiana benthamiana. Surprisingly, heterologous co-production of these proteins resulted in an induction of defence-like responses, which included defence-related gene expression, accumulation of phenolic compounds, and cell death. Similar defence-like responses were observed upon production of AtCERK1 in N. benthamiana leaves. Production of either MtNFP or MtLYK3 alone or their co-production with other unrelated receptor(-like) kinases did not induce cell death in N. benthamiana, indicating that a functional interaction between these LysM receptor-like kinases is required for triggering this response. Importantly, structure-function studies revealed that the MtNFP intracellular region, specific features of the MtLYK3 intracellular region (including several putative phosphorylation sites), and MtLYK3 and AtCERK1 kinase activity were indispensable for cell death induction, thereby mimicking the structural requirements of nodulation or chitin-induced signalling. The observed similarity of N. benthamiana response to MtNFP and MtLYK3 co-production and AtCERK1 production suggests the existence of parallels between Nod factor-induced and chitin-induced signalling mediated by the respective LysM receptor(-like) kinases. Notably, the conserved structural requirements for MtNFP and MtLYK3 biological activity in M. truncatula (nodulation) and in N. benthamiana (cell death induction) indicates the relevance of the latter system for studies on these, and potentially other symbiotic LysM receptor-like kinases.
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