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New pollen-specific receptor kinases identified in tomato, maize and Arabidopsis: the tomato kinases show overlapping but distinct localization patterns on pollen tubes.

Plant Gene Expression Center, USDA/ARS-UC-Berkeley, Albany, CA 94710, USA.
Plant Molecular Biology (Impact Factor: 3.52). 10/2002; 50(1):1-16. DOI:10.1023/A:1016077014583
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT We previously characterized LePRK1 and LePRK2, pollen-specific receptor kinases from tomato (Muschietti et al., 1998). Here we identify a similar receptor kinase from maize, ZmPRK1, that is also specifically expressed late in pollen development, and a third pollen receptor kinase from tomato, LePRK3. LePRK3 is less similar to LePRK1 and LePRK2 than either is to each other. We used immunolocalization to show that all three LePRKs localize to the pollen tube wall, in partially overlapping but distinct patterns. We used RT-PCR and degenerate primers to clone homologues of the tomato kinases from other Solanaceae. We deduced features diagnostic of pollen receptor kinases and used these criteria to identify family members in the Arabidopsis database. RT-PCR confirmed pollen expression for five of these Arabidopsis candidates; two of these are clearly homologues of LePRK3. Our results reveal the existence of a distinct pollen-specific receptor kinase gene family whose members are likely to be involved in perceiving extracellular cues during pollen tube growth.

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    ABSTRACT: Polarized growth of pollen tubes is a critical step for successful reproduction in angiosperms and is controlled by ROP GTPases. Spatiotemporal activation of ROP (Rho GTPases of plants) necessitates a complex and sophisticated regulatory system, in which guanine nucleotide exchange factors (RopGEFs) are key components. It was previously shown that a leucine-rich repeat receptor-like kinase, Arabidopsis pollen receptor kinase 2 (AtPRK2), interacted with RopGEF12 for its membrane recruitment. However, the mechanisms underlying AtPRK2-mediated ROP activation in vivo are yet to be defined. It is reported here that over-expression of AtPRK2 induced tube bulging that was accompanied by the ectopic localization of ROP-GTP and the ectopic distribution of actin microfilaments. Tube depolarization was also induced by a potentially kinase-dead mutant, AtPRK2K366R, suggesting that the over-expression effect of AtPRK2 did not require its kinase activity. By contrast, deletions of non-catalytic domains in AtPRK2, i.e. the juxtamembrane (JM) and carboxy-terminal (CT) domains, abolished its ability to affect tube polarization. Notably, AtPRK2K366R retained the ability to interact with RopGEF12, whereas AtPRK2 truncations of these non-catalytic domains did not. Lastly, it has been shown that the JM and CT domains of AtPRK2 were not only critical for its interaction with RopGEF12 but also critical for its distribution at the plasma membrane. These results thus provide further insight into pollen receptor kinase-mediated ROP activation during pollen tube growth.
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    J. Experimental Botany. 08/2013; In press, accepted August 30, 2013.
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    ABSTRACT: The tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum) pollen-specific receptor kinase 2 (LePRK2) is a member of the large receptor-like kinase (RLK) family and is expressed specifically in mature pollen and pollen tubes in L. esculentum. Like other RLKs, LePRK2 contains a characteristic N-terminal leucine-rich repeat (LRR) extracellular domain, the primary function of which is in protein-protein interactions. The LePRK2 LRR is likely to bind candidate ligands from the external environment, leading to a signal transduction cascade required for successful pollination. LePRK2-LRR was purified using an insect-cell secretion expression system and was crystallized using the vapour-diffusion method. The crystals diffracted to a resolution of 2.50 Å and belonged to space group I4122, with unit-cell parameters a = b = 93.94, c = 134.44 Å and one molecule per asymmetric unit.
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