Regulation of Three Key Kinases of Brassinosteroid Signaling Pathway

Int J Mol Sci. 2020 Jun 18;21(12):4340. doi: 10.3390/ijms21124340.


Brassinosteroids (BRs) are important plant growth hormones that regulate a wide range of plant growth and developmental processes. The BR signals are perceived by two cell surface-localized receptor kinases, Brassinosteroid-Insensitive1 (BRI1) and BRI1-Associated receptor Kinase (BAK1), and reach the nucleus through two master transcription factors, bri1-EMS suppressor1 (BES1) and Brassinazole-resistant1 (BZR1). The intracellular transmission of the BR signals from BRI1/BAK1 to BES1/BZR1 is inhibited by a constitutively active kinase Brassinosteroid-Insensitive2 (BIN2) that phosphorylates and negatively regulates BES1/BZR1. Since their initial discoveries, further studies have revealed a plethora of biochemical and cellular mechanisms that regulate their protein abundance, subcellular localizations, and signaling activities. In this review, we provide a critical analysis of the current literature concerning activation, inactivation, and other regulatory mechanisms of three key kinases of the BR signaling cascade, BRI1, BAK1, and BIN2, and discuss some unresolved controversies and outstanding questions that require further investigation.

Keywords: GSK3-like kinases; brassinosteroids; protein phosphatases; receptor-like kinases; somatic embryogenesis receptor-like kinases.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Brassinosteroids / metabolism*
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Plant
  • Metabolic Networks and Pathways
  • Plant Proteins / genetics
  • Plants / enzymology*
  • Plants / genetics
  • Protein Kinases / genetics*


  • Brassinosteroids
  • Plant Proteins
  • Protein Kinases