Structural Basis of Karrikin and Non-natural Strigolactone Perception in Physcomitrella patens

Cell Rep. 2019 Jan 22;26(4):855-865.e5. doi: 10.1016/j.celrep.2019.01.003.


In plants, strigolactones are perceived by the dual receptor-hydrolase DWARF14 (D14). D14 belongs to the superfamily of α/β hydrolases and is structurally similar to the karrikin receptor KARRIKIN INSENSITIVE 2 (KAI2). The moss Physcomitrella patens is an ideal model system for studying this receptor family, because it includes 11 highly related family members with unknown ligand specificity. We present the crystal structures of three Physcomitrella D14/KAI2-like proteins and describe a loop-based mechanism that leads to a permanent widening of the hydrophobic substrate gorge. We have identified protein clades that specifically perceive the karrikin KAR1 and the non-natural strigolactone isomer (-)-5-deoxystrigol in a highly stereoselective manner.

Keywords: Physcomitrella patens; karrikin; strigolactone; α/β hydrolases.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Bryopsida / enzymology*
  • Crystallography, X-Ray
  • Hydrolases / chemistry*
  • Lactones / chemistry*
  • Plant Proteins / chemistry*
  • Protein Domains


  • Lactones
  • Plant Proteins
  • Hydrolases