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Receptor-like kinases. Proteome, dynamics and function

03 July 2009

PhD ceremony: H. Najafi Zarrini, 11.00 uur, Academiegebouw, Broerstraat 5, Groningen

Thesis: Receptor-like kinases. Proteome, dynamics and function

Promotor(s): prof. J.T.M. Elzenga

Faculty: Mathematics and Natural Sciences


Receptor like kinases (RLKs) form a large gene family in the plants. Around 3% ot the genes present in Arabidopsis code for these proteins. They are important signal transduction proteins. The few RLKs which are characterized, play important roles in controling various physiological and developmental processes. The detection of these proteins, the assesment of their dynamics and their localization are necessary for establishing their function and mechanism.

Salinity is a large agrocultural problem. We want to elucidate the role of RLKs in tolerance to high salt conditions. By mass spectrometry a comparative proteomic analysis was made of the proteins present in the plasma membranes of plants, grown in presence and absence of salt. Over 900 proteins could be detected, of which 69 were RLKs. Upon salinity stress 46 proteins (one of which was an RLK) were up regulated, 32 proteins (five of which were RLKs). Of the receptor-like kinases identified, ten of the most abundant ones were selected for a phenotypic characterization by using T-DNA knock-out plants. One mutant showed a changed root architecture. The reduction of primary root length is exaggerated under osmotic stress and is the result of a lower rate of expansion in the elongation zone of the root. The responsible receptor-like kinase was named Branching Inhibiting Receptor 1 (BIR1). We also developed an antibody with broad cross-reactivity which allowed us to detect a large number of RLKs and their dynamics in a single experiment. The consensus sequence of subdomain VIb of kinase domain of all Leucine-rich repeat RLKs was used as an antigen for the generation of a conserved domain antibody.



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