J Integr Plant Biol. ›› 2008, Vol. 50 ›› Issue (7): 808-815.DOI: 10.1111/j.1744-7909.2008.00710.x

• Plant-environmental Interactions • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Genetic Basis of Ethylene Perception and Signal Transduction in Arabidopsis

Ziqiang Zhu and Hongwei Guo   

  • Received:2008-04-16 Accepted:2008-04-22 Published:2008-07-10

Abstract: Ethylene is a simple gaseous hormone in plants. It plays important roles in plant development and stress tolerance. In the presence of ethylene treatment, all ethylene receptors are in an activated form, which can physically interact with CTR1 and consequently recruit CTR1 protein to endoplasmic reticulum membrane to activate it. Activated CTR1 suppresses the downstream signal transduction by an unknown mechanism. Upon binding to its receptors, ethylene will inactivate the receptor/CTR1 module and in turn alleviate their inhibitory effect on two positive regulators acting downstream of CTR1: EIN2 and EIN3. Genetic study reveals that EIN2 is an essential component in the ethylene signaling pathway but its biochemical function remains a mystery. EIN3 is a plant-specific transcription factor and its protein abundance in the nucleus is rapidly induced upon ethylene treatment. In the absence of ethylene signal, EIN3 protein is degraded by an SCF complex containing one of the two F-box proteins EBF1/EBF2 in a 26S proteasome-dependent manner. EIN3 can bind to the promoter sequences of a number of downstream components, such as ERFs, which in turn bind to a GCC box, a cis-element found in many ethylene-regulated defense genes. Ethylene has been shown to also regulate many other hormones' signaling pathways including auxin, abscisic acid and jasmonic acid, implying the existence of complicated signaling networks in the growth, development and defense responses of various plants.

Key words: Arabidopsis, crosstalk, EIN3, ethylene, signal transduction

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