Superoxide dismutases (SODs) are involved in plant adaptive responses to biotic and abiotic stresses but the upstream signalling process that modulates their expression is not clear. Expression of two iron SODs, FSD2 and FSD3, was significantly increased in Arabidopsis in response to NaCl treatment but blocked in transgenic MKK5-RNAi plant, mkk5. Using an assay system for transient expression in protoplasts, it was found that mitogen-activated protein kinase kinase 5 (MKK5) was also activated in response to salt stress. Overexpression of MKK5 in wild-type plants enhanced their tolerance to salt treatments, while mkk5 mutant exhibited hypersensitivity to salt stress in germination on salt-containing media. Moreover, another kinase, MPK6, was also involved in the MKK5-mediated iron superoxide dismutase (FSD) signalling pathway in salt stress. The kinase activity of MPK6 was totally turned off in mkk5, whereas the activity of MPK3 was only partially blocked. MKK5 interacted with the MEKK1 protein that was also involved in the salt-induced FSD signalling pathway. These data suggest that salt-induced FSD2 and FSD3 expressions are influenced by MEKK1 via MKK5-MPK6-coupled signalling. This MAP kinase cascade (MEKK1, MKK5, and MPK6) mediates the salt-induced expression of iron superoxide dismutases.
Scopus Subject Areas
- Plant Science
- Iron superoxide dismutase
- Mitogen-activated protein kinase 6
- Mitogen-activated protein kinase kinase 5
- Salt stress