Differential activation of the rice sucrose nonfermenting1-related protein kinase2 family by hyperosmotic stress and abscisic acid

Plant Cell. 2004 May;16(5):1163-77. doi: 10.1105/tpc.019943. Epub 2004 Apr 14.


To date, a large number of sequences of protein kinases that belong to the sucrose nonfermenting1-related protein kinase2 (SnRK2) family are found in databases. However, only limited numbers of the family members have been characterized and implicated in abscisic acid (ABA) and hyperosmotic stress signaling. We identified 10 SnRK2 protein kinases encoded by the rice (Oryza sativa) genome. Each of the 10 members was expressed in cultured cell protoplasts, and its regulation was analyzed. Here, we demonstrate that all family members are activated by hyperosmotic stress and that three of them are also activated by ABA. Surprisingly, there were no members that were activated only by ABA. The activation was found to be regulated via phosphorylation. In addition to the functional distinction with respect to ABA regulation, dependence of activation on the hyperosmotic strength was different among the members. We show that the relatively diverged C-terminal domain is mainly responsible for this functional distinction, although the kinase domain also contributes to these differences. The results indicated that the SnRK2 protein kinase family has evolved specifically for hyperosmotic stress signaling and that individual members have acquired distinct regulatory properties, including ABA responsiveness by modifying the C-terminal domain.

MeSH terms

  • Abscisic Acid / pharmacology*
  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Enzyme Activation
  • Genome, Plant
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Oryza / drug effects
  • Oryza / enzymology*
  • Oryza / genetics
  • Osmolar Concentration
  • Plant Growth Regulators / pharmacology
  • Plant Proteins / genetics
  • Plant Proteins / metabolism
  • Protein Kinases / genetics*
  • Protein Kinases / metabolism*


  • Plant Growth Regulators
  • Plant Proteins
  • Abscisic Acid
  • Protein Kinases

Associated data

  • GENBANK/AAF27340
  • GENBANK/AB125302
  • GENBANK/AB125303
  • GENBANK/AB125304
  • GENBANK/AB125305
  • GENBANK/AB125306
  • GENBANK/AB125307
  • GENBANK/AB125308
  • GENBANK/AB125309
  • GENBANK/AB125310
  • GENBANK/AB125311
  • GENBANK/AV834998
  • GENBANK/BAB61735
  • GENBANK/BJ251848
  • GENBANK/BJ317818
  • GENBANK/BJ463508
  • GENBANK/BJ471725
  • GENBANK/L01453
  • GENBANK/L19360