Rice WNK1 is regulated by abiotic stress and involved in internal circadian rhythm

Plant Signal Behav. 2011 Mar;6(3):316-20. doi: 10.4161/psb.6.3.13063. Epub 2011 Mar 1.


In Mammalian system the WNK (with no lysine kinase) serine-threonine protein kinase gene family is suggested to be involved in regulating ion homeostasis and other pathophysiological processes including cancer, hypertension and renal ion transport. In plant system the information about WNK genes is very poor. However, WNK-like genes have also been identified in plants, including ten in Arabidopsis, designated AtWNK1-AtWNK10. Here we report the cloning and characterization of a homologue of AtWNK1 gene from Oryza sativa indica cultivar Pusa Basmati-1 rice and designated as OsWNK1. The specific feature of this gene is lysine residue in kinase subdomain II, which is essential for the coordination of ATP in the active center and conserved among all other kinases, is absent. OsWNK1 was found to respond differentially under various abiotic stresses like cold, heat, salt, drought. OsWNK1 gene showed rhythmic expression profile under diurnal and circadian conditions at the transcription level. Our data indicates that OsWNK1 in rice might play a role in abiotic stress tolerance and that it is involved in internal rhythm.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Circadian Rhythm / genetics
  • Circadian Rhythm / physiology*
  • Cold Temperature
  • Droughts
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Plant / drug effects
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Plant / physiology
  • Hot Temperature
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Oryza / genetics
  • Oryza / metabolism*
  • Oryza / physiology*
  • Phylogeny
  • Plant Proteins / chemistry*
  • Plant Proteins / genetics
  • Plant Proteins / metabolism*
  • Salts / pharmacology
  • Sequence Homology, Amino Acid


  • Plant Proteins
  • Salts