J Integr Plant Biol. ›› 2011, Vol. 53 ›› Issue (6): 469-479.DOI: 10.1111/j.1744-7909.2011.01044.x

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Abscisic Acid Receptors: Past, Present and Future

Jianjun Guo1,2, Xiaohan Yang3, David J. Weston3 and Jin-Gui Chen3*   

  1. 1Department of Genetics, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts 02114-2790, USA
    2Department of Molecular Biology, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts 02114-2790, USA
    3Biosciences Division, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Oak Ridge, TN 37831-6422, USA
  • Received:2011-02-15 Accepted:2011-04-27 Published:2011-05-09
  • About author:*Corresponding author. Tel: +1 865 574 9094; Fax: +1 865 576 9939; E-mail: chenj@ornl.gov


Abscisic acid (ABA) is the key plant stress hormone. Consistent with the earlier studies in support of the presence of both membrane- and cytoplasm-localized ABA receptors, recent studies have identified multiple ABA receptors located in various subcellular locations. These include a chloroplast envelope-localized receptor (the H subunit of Chloroplast Mg2+-chelatase/ABA Receptor), two plasma membrane-localized receptors (G-protein Coupled Receptor 2 and GPCR-type G proteins), and one cytosol/nucleus-localized Pyrabactin Resistant (PYR)/PYR-Like (PYL)/Regulatory Component of ABA Receptor 1 (RCAR). Although the downstream molecular events for most of the identified ABA receptors are currently unknown, one of them, PYR/PYL/RCAR was found to directly bind and regulate the activity of a long-known central regulator of ABA signaling, the A-group protein phosphatase 2C (PP2C). Together with the Sucrose Non-fermentation Kinase Subfamily 2 (SnRK2s) protein kinases, a central signaling complex (ABA-PYR-PP2Cs-SnRK2s) that is responsible for ABA signal perception and transduction is supported by abundant genetic, physiological, biochemical and structural evidence. The identification of multiple ABA receptors has advanced our understanding of ABA signal perception and transduction while adding an extra layer of complexity.

Guo J, Yang X, Weston DJ, Chen JG (2011) Abscisic acid receptors: Past, present and future. J. Integr. Plant Biol. 53(6), 469–479.


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