International Journal of Molecular Sciences (Mar 2019)

Protein Interactomic Analysis of SAPKs and ABA-Inducible bZIPs Revealed Key Roles of SAPK10 in Rice Flowering

  • Xixi Liu,
  • Zhiyong Li,
  • Yuxuan Hou,
  • Yifeng Wang,
  • Huimei Wang,
  • Xiaohong Tong,
  • Hejun Ao,
  • Jian Zhang

Journal volume & issue
Vol. 20, no. 6
p. 1427


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As core components of ABA signaling pathway, SnRK2s (Sucrose nonfermenting1–Related protein Kinase 2) bind to and phosphorylate AREB/ABF (ABA responsive element binding protein/ABRE-binding factor) transcriptional factors, particularly bZIPs (basic region-leucine zipper), to participate in various biological processes, including flowering. Rice contains 10 SnRK2 members denoted as SAPK1-10 (Stress-Activated Protein Kinase) and dozens of bZIPs. However, which of the SAPKs and bZIPs pair and involve in ABA signaling remains largely unknown. In this study, we carried out a systematical protein-protein interactomic analysis of 10 SAPKs and 9 ABA-inducible bZIPs using yeast-two-hybrid technique, and identified 14 positive interactions. The reliability of Y2H work was verified by in vitro pull-down assay of the key flowering regulator bZIP77 with SAPK9 and SAPK10, respectively. Moreover, SAPK10 could phosphorylate bZIP77 in vitro. Over-expression of SAPK10 resulted in earlier flowering time, at least partially through regulating the FAC-MADS15 pathway. Conclusively, our results provided an overall view of the SAPK-bZIP interactions, and shed novel lights on the mechanisms of ABA-regulated rice flowering.