Structural basis for cytokinin receptor signaling: an evolutionary approach

Plant Cell Rep. 2013 Jun;32(6):781-93. doi: 10.1007/s00299-013-1408-3. Epub 2013 Mar 23.


Cytokinins are ubiquitous plant hormones; their signal is perceived by sensor histidine kinases-cytokinin receptors. This review focuses on recent advances on cytokinin receptor structure, in particular sensing module and adjacent domains which play an important role in hormone recognition, signal transduction and receptor subcellular localization. Principles of cytokinin binding site organization and point mutations affecting signaling are discussed. To date, more than 100 putative cytokinin receptor genes from different plant species were revealed due to the total genome sequencing. This allowed us to employ an evolutionary and bioinformatics approaches to clarify some new aspects of receptor structure and function. Non-transmembrane areas adjacent to the ligand-binding CHASE domain were characterized in detail and new conserved protein motifs were recovered. Putative mechanisms for cytokinin-triggered receptor activation were suggested.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Motifs
  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Arabidopsis / genetics*
  • Arabidopsis / metabolism
  • Computational Biology
  • Cytokinins / metabolism*
  • Evolution, Molecular
  • Models, Molecular
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Phylogeny
  • Plant Growth Regulators / metabolism*
  • Plant Proteins / chemistry
  • Plant Proteins / genetics
  • Plants / genetics*
  • Plants / metabolism
  • Protein Structure, Tertiary
  • Protein Transport
  • Receptors, Cell Surface / chemistry*
  • Receptors, Cell Surface / genetics
  • Signal Transduction*


  • Cytokinins
  • Plant Growth Regulators
  • Plant Proteins
  • Receptors, Cell Surface