The Pseudomonas syringae effector HopF2 suppresses Arabidopsis immunity by targeting BAK1. Academic Article uri icon


  • Pseudomonas syringae delivers a plethora of effector proteins into host cells to sabotage immune responses and modulate physiology to favor infection. The P.syringae pv. tomato DC3000 effector HopF2 suppresses Arabidopsis innate immunity triggered by multiple microbe-associated molecular patterns (MAMP) at the plasma membrane. We show here that HopF2 possesses distinct mechanisms for suppression of two branches of MAMP-activated MAP kinase (MAPK) cascades. In addition to blocking MKK5 (MAPK kinase5) activation in the MEKK1 (MAPK kinase kinase 1)/MEKKs-MKK4/5-MPK3/6 cascade, HopF2 targets additional component(s) upstream of MEKK1 in the MEKK1-MKK1/2-MPK4 cascade and the plasma membrane-localized receptor-like cytoplasmic kinase BIK1 and its homologs. We further show that HopF2 directly targets BAK1, a plasma membrane-localized receptor-like kinase that is involved in multiple MAMP signaling. The interaction between BAK1 and HopF2 and between two other P.syringae effectors, AvrPto and AvrPtoB, was confirmed in vivo and in vitro. Consistent with BAK1 as a physiological target of AvrPto, AvrPtoB and HopF2, the strong growth defects or lethality associated with ectopic expression of these effectors in wild-type Arabidopsis transgenic plants were largely alleviated in bak1 mutant plants. Thus, our results provide genetic evidence to show that BAK1 is a physiological target of AvrPto, AvrPtoB and HopF2. Identification of BAK1 as an additional target of HopF2 virulence not only explains HopF2 suppression of multiple MAMP signaling at the plasma membrane, but also supports the notion that pathogen virulence effectors act through multiple targets in host cells.

published proceedings

  • Plant J

altmetric score

  • 1.5

author list (cited authors)

  • Zhou, J., Wu, S., Chen, X., Liu, C., Sheen, J., Shan, L., & He, P.

citation count

  • 87

complete list of authors

  • Zhou, Jinggeng||Wu, Shujing||Chen, Xin||Liu, Chenglong||Sheen, Jen||Shan, Libo||He, Ping

publication date

  • January 2014