Mechanistic basis for the activation of plant membrane receptor kinases by SERK-family coreceptors.
ABSTRACT: Plant-unique membrane receptor kinases with leucine-rich repeat ectodomains (LRR-RKs) can sense small molecule, peptide, and protein ligands. Many LRR-RKs require SERK-family coreceptor kinases for high-affinity ligand binding and receptor activation. How one coreceptor can contribute to the specific binding of distinct ligands and activation of different LRR-RKs is poorly understood. Here we quantitatively analyze the contribution of SERK3 to ligand binding and activation of the brassinosteroid receptor BRI1 and the peptide hormone receptor HAESA. We show that while the isolated receptors sense their respective ligands with drastically different binding affinities, the SERK3 ectodomain binds the ligand-associated receptors with very similar binding kinetics. We identify residues in the SERK3 N-terminal capping domain, which allow for selective steroid and peptide hormone recognition. In contrast, residues in the SERK3 LRR core form a second, constitutive receptor-coreceptor interface. Genetic analyses of protein chimera between BRI1 and SERK3 define that signaling-competent complexes are formed by receptor-coreceptor heteromerization in planta. A functional BRI1-HAESA chimera suggests that the receptor activation mechanism is conserved among different LRR-RKs, and that their signaling specificity is encoded in the kinase domain of the receptor. Our work pinpoints the relative contributions of receptor, ligand, and coreceptor to the formation and activation of SERK-dependent LRR-RK signaling complexes regulating plant growth and development.
Project description:Brassinosteroids, which control plant growth and development, are sensed by the membrane receptor kinase BRASSINOSTEROID INSENSITIVE 1 (BRI1). Brassinosteroid binding to the BRI1 leucine-rich repeat (LRR) domain induces heteromerisation with a SOMATIC EMBRYOGENESIS RECEPTOR KINASE (SERK)-family co-receptor. This process allows the cytoplasmic kinase domains of BRI1 and SERK to interact, trans-phosphorylate and activate each other. Here we report crystal structures of the BRI1 kinase domain in its activated form and in complex with nucleotides. BRI1 has structural features reminiscent of both serine/threonine and tyrosine kinases, providing insight into the evolution of dual-specificity kinases in plants. Phosphorylation of Thr1039, Ser1042 and Ser1044 causes formation of a catalytically competent activation loop. Mapping previously identified serine/threonine and tyrosine phosphorylation sites onto the structure, we analyse their contribution to brassinosteroid signaling. The location of known genetic missense alleles provide detailed insight into the BRI1 kinase mechanism, while our analyses are inconsistent with a previously reported guanylate cyclase activity. We identify a protein interaction surface on the C-terminal lobe of the kinase and demonstrate that the isolated BRI1, SERK2 and SERK3 cytoplasmic segments form homodimers in solution and have a weak tendency to heteromerise. We propose a model in which heterodimerisation of the BRI1 and SERK ectodomains brings their cytoplasmic kinase domains in a catalytically competent arrangement, an interaction that can be modulated by the BRI1 inhibitor protein BKI1.
Project description:Abscission is a developmental process that enables plants to shed unwanted organs. In Arabidopsis, the floral organ abscission is regulated by a signaling pathway consisting of the peptide ligand IDA, the receptor-like kinases (RLKs) HAE and HSL2, and a downstream MAP kinase (MAPK) cascade. However, little is known about the molecular link between ligand-receptor pairs and intracellular signaling. Here, we report that the SERK family RLKs function redundantly in regulating floral organ abscission downstream of IDA and upstream of the MAPK cascade. IDA induces heterodimerization of HAE/HSL2 and SERKs, which transphosphorylate each other. The SERK3 residues mediating its interaction with the immune receptor FLS2 and the brassinosteroid receptor BRI1 are also required for IDA-induced HAE/HSL2-SERK3 interaction, suggesting SERKs serve as co-receptors of HAE/HSL2 in perceiving IDA. Thus, our study reveals the signaling activation mechanism in floral organ abscission by IDA-induced HAE/HSL2-SERK complex formation accompanied by transphosphorylation.
Project description:Plants use leucine-rich repeat receptor kinases (LRR-RKs) to sense sequence diverse peptide hormones at the cell surface. A 3.0-Å crystal structure of the LRR-RK GSO1/SGN3 regulating Casparian strip formation in the endodermis reveals a large spiral-shaped ectodomain. The domain provides a binding platform for 21 amino acid CIF peptide ligands, which are tyrosine sulfated by the tyrosylprotein sulfotransferase TPST/SGN2. GSO1/SGN3 harbors a binding pocket for sulfotyrosine and makes extended backbone interactions with CIF2. Quantitative biochemical comparisons reveal that GSO1/SGN3-CIF2 represents one of the strongest receptor-ligand pairs known in plants. Multiple missense mutations are required to block CIF2 binding in vitro and GSO1/SGN3 function in vivo. Using structure-guided sequence analysis we uncover previously uncharacterized CIF peptides conserved among higher plants. Quantitative binding assays with known and novel CIFs suggest that the homologous LRR-RKs GSO1/SGN3 and GSO2 have evolved unique peptide binding properties to control different developmental processes. A quantitative biochemical interaction screen, a CIF peptide antagonist and genetic analyses together implicate SERK proteins as essential coreceptor kinases required for GSO1/SGN3 and GSO2 receptor activation. Our work provides a mechanistic framework for the recognition of sequence-divergent peptide hormones in plants.
Project description:Plants must adapt to their environment and require mechanisms for sensing their surroundings and responding appropriately. An expanded family of more than 200 leucine-rich repeat (LRR) receptor kinases (LRR-RKs) transduces fluctuating and often contradictory signals from the environment into changes in nuclear gene expression. Two LRR-RKs, BRASSINOSTEROID INSENSITIVE 1 (BRI1), a steroid receptor, and FLAGELLIN SENSITIVE 2 (FLS2), an innate immune receptor that recognizes bacterial flagellin, act cooperatively to partition necessary growth-defense trade-offs. BRI1 and FLS2 share common signaling components and slightly different activation mechanisms. BRI1 and FLS2 are paradigms for understanding the signaling mechanisms of LRR-containing receptors in plants.
Project description:Brassinosteroids (BRs) are plant hormones that are perceived at the plasma membrane (PM) by the ligand binding receptor BRASSINOSTEROID-INSENSITIVE1 (BRI1) and the co-receptor SOMATIC EMBRYOGENESIS RECEPTOR LIKE KINASE 3/BRI1 ASSOCIATED KINASE 1 (SERK3/BAK1). To visualize BRI1-GFP and SERK3/BAK1-mCherry in the plane of the PM, variable-angle epifluorescence microscopy (VAEM) was employed, which allows selective illumination of a thin surface layer. VAEM revealed an inhomogeneous distribution of BRI1-GFP and SERK3/BAK1-mCherry at the PM, which we attribute to the presence of distinct nanoclusters. Neither the BRI1 nor the SERK3/BAK1 nanocluster density is affected by depletion of endogenous ligands or application of exogenous ligands. To reveal interacting populations of receptor complexes, we utilized selective-surface observation-fluorescence lifetime imaging microscopy (SSO-FLIM) for the detection of Förster resonance energy transfer (FRET). Using this approach, we observed hetero-oligomerisation of BRI1 and SERK3 in the nanoclusters, which did not change upon depletion of endogenous ligand or signal activation. Upon ligand application, however, the number of BRI1-SERK3 /BAK1 hetero-oligomers was reduced, possibly due to endocytosis of active signalling units of BRI1-SERK3/BAK1 residing in the PM. We propose that formation of nanoclusters in the plant PM is subjected to biophysical restraints, while the stoichiometry of receptors inside these nanoclusters is variable and important for signal transduction.
Project description:In plants leucine-rich repeat receptor kinases (LRR-RKs) located at the plasma membrane play a pivotal role in the perception of extracellular signals. For two of these LRR-RKs, the brassinosteroid receptor BRI1 and the flagellin receptor FLS2, interaction with the LRR receptor-like kinase BAK1 (BRI1-associated receptor kinase 1) was shown to be required for signal transduction. Here we report that FLS2.BAK1 heteromerization occurs almost instantaneously after perception of the ligand, the flagellin-derived peptide flg22. Flg22 can induce formation of a stable FLS2.BAK1 complex in microsomal membrane preparations in vitro, and the kinase inhibitor K-252a does not prevent complex formation. A kinase dead version of BAK1 associates with FLS2 in a flg22-dependent manner but does not restore responsiveness to flg22 in cells of bak1 plants, demonstrating that kinase activity of BAK1 is essential for FLS2 signaling. Furthermore, using in vivo phospholabeling, we are able to detect de novo phosphorylation of both FLS2 and BAK1 within 15 s of stimulation with flg22. Similarly, brassinolide induces BAK1 phosphorylation within seconds. Other triggers of plant defense, such as bacterial EF-Tu and the endogenous AtPep1 likewise induce rapid formation of heterocomplexes consisting of de novo phosphorylated BAK1 and proteins representing the ligand-specific binding receptors EF-Tu receptor and Pep1 receptor 1, respectively. Thus, we propose that several LRR-RKs form tight complexes with BAK1 almost instantaneously after ligand binding and that the subsequent phosphorylation events are key initial steps in signal transduction.
Project description:Receptor kinases with leucine-rich repeat (LRR) extracellular domains form the largest family of receptors in plants. In the few cases for which there is mechanistic information, ligand binding in the extracellular domain often triggers the recruitment of a LRR-coreceptor kinase. The current model proposes that this recruitment is mediated by their respective kinase domains. Here, we show that the extracellular LRR domain of BRI1-ASSOCIATED KINASE1 (BAK1), a coreceptor involved in the disparate processes of cell surface steroid signaling and immunity in plants, is critical for its association with specific ligand-binding LRR-containing receptors. The LRRs of BAK1 thus serve as a platform for the molecular assembly of signal-competent receptors. We propose that this mechanism represents a paradigm for LRR receptor activation in plants.
Project description:Signaling initiation by receptor-like kinases (RLKs) at the plasma membrane of plant cells often requires regulatory leucine-rich repeat (LRR) RLK proteins such as SERK or BIR proteins. The present work examined how the microbe-associated molecular pattern (MAMP) receptor FLS2 builds signaling complexes with BAK1 (SERK3). We first, using in vivo methods that validate separate findings by others, demonstrated that flg22 (flagellin epitope) ligand-initiated FLS2-BAK1 extracellular domain interactions can proceed independent of intracellular domain interactions. We then explored a candidate SERK protein interaction site in the extracellular domains (ectodomains; ECDs) of the significantly different receptors FLS2, EFR (MAMP receptors), PEPR1 (damage-associated molecular pattern (DAMP) receptor), and BRI1 (hormone receptor). Repeat conservation mapping revealed a cluster of conserved solvent-exposed residues near the C-terminus of models of the folded LRR domains. However, site-directed mutagenesis of this conserved site in FLS2 did not impair FLS2-BAK1 ECD interactions, and mutations in the analogous site of EFR caused receptor maturation defects. Hence this conserved LRR C-terminal region apparently has functions other than mediating interactions with BAK1. In vivo tests of the subsequently published FLS2-flg22-BAK1 ECD co-crystal structure were then performed to functionally evaluate some of the unexpected configurations predicted by that crystal structure. In support of the crystal structure data, FLS2-BAK1 ECD interactions were no longer detected in in vivo co-immunoprecipitation experiments after site-directed mutagenesis of the FLS2 BAK1-interaction residues S554, Q530, Q627 or N674. In contrast, in vivo FLS2-mediated signaling persisted and was only minimally reduced, suggesting residual FLS2-BAK1 interaction and the limited sensitivity of co-immunoprecipitation data relative to in vivo assays for signaling outputs. However, Arabidopsis plants expressing FLS2 with the Q530A+Q627A double mutation were impaired both in detectable interaction with BAK1 and in FLS2-mediated responses, lending overall support to current models of FLS2 structure and function.
Project description:In plants, LRR-RLKs play central roles in regulating perception of extracellular signals and initiation of cellular responses under various environmental challenges. Arabidopsis SERK genes, including SERK1 to SERK5, constitute a LRR-RLK sub-family. SERK1, SERK2, SERK3/BAK1, and SERK4/BKK1 have been well characterized to function as crucial regulators in multiple physiological processes such as brassinosteroid signaling, cell death control, pathogenesis, and pollen development. Despite extremely high sequence identity with BKK1, SERK5 is reported to have no functional overlapping with BKK1, which is previously identified to regulate BR and cell death control pathways, probably due to a natural mutation in a highly conserved RD motif in the kinase domain of SERK5 in Col-0 ecotype. Through a gene sequencing analysis in several Arabidopsis accessions, we are able to identify SERK5 in Landsberg erecta (Ler) genome encoding a LRR-RLK with an intact RD motif. Overexpression of SERK5-Ler partially suppresses the BR defective phenotypes of bri1-5 and bak1-3 bkk1-1, indicating SERK5-Ler functions as a positive regulator in BR signaling. Furthermore, the interaction between SERK5-Ler and BRI1 is confirmed by yeast two-hybrid and BiFC assays, and the genetic result showing that elevated expression of a kinase-dead form of SERK5-Ler causes a dominant-negative phenotype in bri1-5. In addition, overexpression of SERK5-Ler is capable of delaying, not completely suppressing, the cell death phenotype of bak1-3 bkk1-1. In this study, we first reveal that SERK5-Ler is a biologically functional component in mediating multiple signaling pathways.
Project description:In recent years, secreted peptides have been recognized as essential mediators of intercellular communication which governs plant growth, development, environmental interactions, and other mediated biological responses, such as stem cell homeostasis, cell proliferation, wound healing, hormone sensation, immune defense, and symbiosis, among others. Many of the known secreted peptide ligand receptors belong to the leucine-rich repeat receptor kinase (LRR-RK) family of membrane integral receptors, which contain more than 200 members within Arabidopsis making it the largest family of plant receptor kinases (RKs). Genetic and biochemical studies have provided valuable data regarding peptide ligands and LRR-RKs, however, visualization of ligand/LRR-RK complex structures at the atomic level is vital to understand the functions of LRR-RKs and their mediated biological processes. The structures of many plant LRR-RK receptors in complex with corresponding ligands have been solved by X-ray crystallography, revealing new mechanisms of ligand-induced receptor kinase activation. In this review, we briefly elaborate the peptide ligands, and aim to detail the structures and mechanisms of LRR-RK activation as induced by secreted peptide ligands within plants.