Modes of MAPK substrate recognition and control

Trends Plant Sci. 2015 Jan;20(1):49-55. doi: 10.1016/j.tplants.2014.09.006. Epub 2014 Oct 6.


Mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) cascades are universal, evolutionary conserved signalling modules, which translate environmental information into appropriate responses via phosphorylation of their substrate proteins. In Arabidopsis, the MAPK MPK3 regulates numerous cellular processes, including the adaptation to abiotic and biotic stresses. The molecular steps immediately downstream of MPK3 induction have, therefore, received abundant attention, and a respectable number of MPK3 targets are known by now. These proteins illustrate the substrate promiscuity of MPK3. They also are evidence for how manifold phosphorylation-regulated functions can be. This review presents the current knowledge about the function and regulation of MPK3-targeted proteins, takes a close look at their primary protein sequences, and proposes a model of how MPK3 recognises, binds, and phosphorylates its targets.

Keywords: MAPK; peptide motifs; phosphorylation; stress signalling.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Arabidopsis / enzymology*
  • Arabidopsis / genetics*
  • Arabidopsis / metabolism
  • Arabidopsis Proteins / genetics*
  • Arabidopsis Proteins / metabolism
  • Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinases / genetics*
  • Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinases / metabolism
  • Phosphorylation


  • Arabidopsis Proteins
  • Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinases