In Arabidopsis, mitogen-activated protein kinases MPK3, MPK4, and MPK6 constitute essential relays for a variety of functions including cell division, development and innate immunity. Although some substrates of MPK3, MPK4 and MPK6 have been identified, the picture is still far from complete. To identify substrates of these MAPKs likely involved in cell division, growth and development we compared the phosphoproteomes of wild-type and mpk3, mpk4, and mpk6. To study the function of these MAPKs in innate immunity, we analyzed their phosphoproteomes following microbe-associated molecular pattern (MAMP) treatment. Partially overlapping substrates were retrieved for all three MAPKs, showing target specificity to one, two or all three MAPKs in different biological processes. More precisely, our results illustrate the fact that the entity to be defined as a specific or a shared substrate for MAPKs is not a phosphoprotein but a particular (S/T)P phosphorylation site in a given protein. One hundred fifty-two peptides were identified to be differentially phosphorylated in response to MAMP treatment and/or when compared between genotypes and 70 of them could be classified as putative MAPK targets. Biochemical analysis of a number of putative MAPK substrates by phosphorylation and interaction assays confirmed the global phosphoproteome approach. Our study also expands the set of MAPK substrates to involve other protein kinases, including calcium-dependent (CDPK) and sugar nonfermenting (SnRK) protein kinases.
© 2018 by The American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Inc.