Splicing of receptor-like kinase-encoding SNC4 and CERK1 is regulated by two conserved splicing factors that are required for plant immunity

Mol Plant. 2014 Dec;7(12):1766-75. doi: 10.1093/mp/ssu103. Epub 2014 Sep 29.


Plant immune receptors belonging to the receptor-like kinase (RLK) family play important roles in the recognition of microbial pathogens and activation of downstream defense responses. The Arabidopsis mutant snc4-1D contains a gain-of-function mutation in the RLK SNC4 (SUPPRESSOR OF NPR1-1, CONSTITUTIVE4), which leads to constitutive activation of defense responses. Analysis of suppressor mutants of snc4-1D identified two conserved splicing factors, SUA (SUPPRESSOR OF ABI3-5) and RSN2 (REQUIRED FOR SNC4-1D 2), that are required for the constitutive defense responses in snc4-1D. In sua and rsn2 mutants, SNC4 splicing is altered and the amount of SNC4 transcripts is reduced. Further analysis showed that SUA and RSN2 are also required for the proper splicing of CERK1 (CHITIN ELICITOR RECEPTOR KINASE1), which encodes another RLK that functions as a receptor for chitin. In sua and rsn2 mutants, induction of reactive oxygen species by chitin is reduced and the non-pathogenic bacteria Pseudomonas syringae pv. tomato DC3000hrcC grows to higher titers than in wild-type plants. Our study suggests that pre-mRNA splicing plays important roles in the regulation of plant immunity mediated by the RLKs SNC4 and CERK1.

Keywords: CERK1.; RSN2; SNC4; SUA; alternative splicing; plant immunity; receptor-like kinase.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Arabidopsis / genetics*
  • Arabidopsis Proteins / genetics
  • Arabidopsis Proteins / metabolism*
  • Disease Resistance / genetics
  • Mutation
  • Plant Diseases / genetics
  • Plant Diseases / microbiology
  • Plant Immunity*
  • Plants, Genetically Modified
  • Protein-Serine-Threonine Kinases / genetics
  • Protein-Serine-Threonine Kinases / metabolism*
  • Pseudomonas syringae
  • RNA Splicing*


  • Arabidopsis Proteins
  • CERK1 protein, Arabidopsis
  • Protein-Serine-Threonine Kinases