Plant physiology

AKINbetagamma contributes to SnRK1 heterotrimeric complexes and interacts with two proteins implicated in plant pathogen resistance through its KIS/GBD sequence.

PMID 17028154


The sucrose nonfermenting-1 protein kinase (SNF1)/AMP-activated protein kinase subfamily plays a central role in metabolic responses to nutritional and environmental stresses. In yeast (Saccharomyces cerevisiae) and mammals, the beta- and gamma-noncatalytic subunits are implicated in substrate specificity and subcellular localization, respectively, and regulation of the kinase activity. The atypical betagamma-subunit has been previously described in maize (Zea mays), presenting at its N-terminal end a sequence related to the KIS (kinase interacting sequence) domain specific to the beta-subunits (Lumbreras et al., 2001). The existence of two components, SNF1-related protein kinase (SnRK1) complexes containing the betagamma-subunit and one SnRK1 kinase, had been proposed. In this work, we show that, despite its unusual features, the Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana) homolog AKINbetagamma clearly interacts with AKINbeta-subunits in vitro and in vivo, suggesting its involvement in heterotrimeric complexes located in both cytoplasm and nucleus. Unexpectedly, a transcriptional analysis of AKINbetagamma gene expression highlighted the implication of alternative splicing mechanisms in the regulation of AKINbetagamma expression. A two-hybrid screen performed with AKINbetagamma as bait, together with in planta bimolecular fluorescence complementation experiments, suggests the existence of interactions in the cytosol between AKINbetagamma and two leucine-rich repeats related to pathogen resistance proteins. Interestingly, this interaction occurs through the truncated KIS domain that corresponds exactly to a GBD (glycogen-binding domain) recently described in mammals and yeast. A phylogenetic study suggests that AKINbetagamma-related proteins are restricted to the plant kingdom. Altogether, these data suggest the existence of plant-specific SnRK1 trimeric complexes putatively involved in a plant-specific function such as plant-pathogen interactions.

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