Chin Bull Bot ›› 2017, Vol. 52 ›› Issue (2): 123-127.doi: 10.11983/CBB16217

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Plants Use an Atypical Strategy to Perceive Strigolactones

Jinke Chang, Jia Li*   

  1. Ministry of Education Key Laboratory of Cell Activities and Stress Adaptations, School of Life Sciences, Lanzhou University, Lanzhou 730000, China
  • Received:2016-11-11 Accepted:2017-02-09 Online:2017-04-05 Published:2017-03-01
  • Contact: Li Jia
  • About author:

    # Co-first authors


Phytohormones, as signaling molecules, play critical roles in regulating cell-to-cell and cell-to-environment communications. The mechanisms plant cells use to perceive phytohormones remain hot research topics in plant biology. Previous studies indicated that most plant hormones are perceived by non-covalent physical interactions with their corresponding receptors. After signaling pathways are initiated, the ligands usually dissociate with their binding receptors, which can interact with other receptor molecules or go through a degradation pathway. Therefore, ligand-receptor interaction is distinct from substrate-enzyme association. Recently, Xie and colleagues resolved a 3D structure of a strigolactone-induced AtD14-D3-ASK1 receptor complex. Strigolactones could be cleaved into a covalent-linked intermediate molecule in the reaction center of AtD14, the receptor of strigolactones. Further analyses revealed detailed molecular mechanisms of strigolactone-induced ligand-receptor complex formation and subsequent signaling initiation. Such a mechanism has never been reported in plants. These results provide significant insights into our better understanding of cellular signaling in plants.

Figure 1

The interaction pattern of ligand-receptor for phytohormones(A) Classical plant hormones research suggests that hormone (ligand) was perceived by the receptor to initiate cellular signaling, but the ligand was not changed usually; (B) Strigolactone (SL) was hydrolysed by the open state D14 into an intermediate molecule (CLIM), which is covalently sealed inside the catalytic centre of D14 (in closed state) to trigger SL signal transduction"

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