Relay and control of abscisic acid signaling

Curr Opin Plant Biol. 2003 Oct;6(5):470-9. doi: 10.1016/s1369-5266(03)00090-6.


Insights into the signal transduction of the phytohormone abscisic acid (ABA) have unfolded dramatically in the past few years and reveal an unanticipated complexity. Knockout lines and RNA-interference technology, together with protein interaction analyses, have been used to identify many of the cellular components that regulate or modulate ABA responses. ABA signaling is characterized by a plethora of intracellular messengers. This may reflect the function of ABA in integrating several stress responses and antagonizing pathways via cross-talk, but it hampers the establishment of a unifying concept. Transcriptome analyses have unraveled more than a thousand genes that are differentially regulated by ABA, and these ABA-mediated changes in gene expression translate to major changes in proteome expression. ABA-induced mechanisms that re-adjust cellular protein expression are just surfacing. ABA-response-specific transcription factors have a well-established function in that process and, recently, it has also become clear that phytohormone signaling enforces a sophisticated interference with protein expression at the posttranscriptional level. This interference includes both targeted proteolysis and the regulation of the translation of specific mRNAs by RNA-binding proteins.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Abscisic Acid / pharmacology*
  • Plants / drug effects
  • Plants / genetics*
  • Plants / metabolism
  • Protein Interaction Mapping
  • RNA, Messenger / genetics
  • RNA, Messenger / metabolism*
  • RNA-Binding Proteins / genetics
  • RNA-Binding Proteins / metabolism
  • Signal Transduction / genetics
  • Transcription Factors / genetics
  • Transcription Factors / metabolism


  • RNA, Messenger
  • RNA-Binding Proteins
  • Transcription Factors
  • Abscisic Acid