Identification of CRE1 as a cytokinin receptor from Arabidopsis

Nature. 2001 Feb 22;409(6823):1060-3. doi: 10.1038/35059117.


Cytokinins are a class of plant hormones that are central to the regulation of cell division and differentiation in plants. It has been proposed that they are detected by a two-component system, because overexpression of the histidine kinase gene CKI1 induces typical cytokinin responses and genes for a set of response regulators of two-component systems can be induced by cytokinins. Two-component systems use a histidine kinase as an environmental sensor and rely on a phosphorelay for signal transduction. They are common in microorganisms, and are also emerging as important signal detection routes in plants. Here we report the identification of a cytokinin receptor. We identified Arabidopsis cre1 (cytokinin response 1) mutants, which exhibited reduced responses to cytokinins. The mutated gene CRE1 encodes a histidine kinase. CRE1 expression conferred a cytokinin-dependent growth phenotype on a yeast mutant that lacked the endogenous histidine kinase SLN1 (ref. 10), providing direct evidence that CRE1 is a cytokinin receptor. We also provide evidence that cytokinins can activate CRE1 to initiate phosphorelay signalling.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Arabidopsis / enzymology
  • Arabidopsis / genetics
  • Arabidopsis / metabolism*
  • Arabidopsis Proteins*
  • Chromosome Mapping
  • Cytokinins / metabolism*
  • DNA, Bacterial
  • Genes, Plant
  • Histidine Kinase
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Mutation
  • Plant Proteins / genetics
  • Plant Proteins / metabolism
  • Protein Kinases / genetics
  • Protein Kinases / metabolism*
  • Receptors, Cell Surface / genetics
  • Receptors, Cell Surface / metabolism*
  • Signal Transduction
  • Transformation, Genetic
  • Yeasts / genetics


  • Arabidopsis Proteins
  • Cytokinins
  • DNA, Bacterial
  • Plant Proteins
  • Receptors, Cell Surface
  • T-DNA
  • Protein Kinases
  • Histidine Kinase
  • WOL protein, Arabidopsis

Associated data

  • GENBANK/AB049934
  • GENBANK/AB049935