Bacterial effectors target the common signaling partner BAK1 to disrupt multiple MAMP receptor-signaling complexes and impede plant immunity. Academic Article uri icon


  • Successful pathogens have evolved strategies to interfere with host immune systems. For example, the ubiquitous plant pathogen Pseudomonas syringae injects two sequence-distinct effectors, AvrPto and AvrPtoB, to intercept convergent innate immune responses stimulated by multiple microbe-associated molecular patterns (MAMPs). However, the direct host targets and precise molecular mechanisms of bacterial effectors remain largely obscure. We show that AvrPto and AvrPtoB bind the Arabidopsis receptor-like kinase BAK1, a shared signaling partner of both the flagellin receptor FLS2 and the brassinosteroid receptor BRI1. This targeting interferes with ligand-dependent association of FLS2 with BAK1 during infection. It also impedes BAK1-dependent host immune responses to diverse other MAMPs and brassinosteroid signaling. Significantly, the structural basis of AvrPto-BAK1 interaction appears to be distinct from AvrPto-Pto association required for effector-triggered immunity. These findings uncover a unique strategy of bacterial pathogenesis where virulence effectors block signal transmission through a key common component of multiple MAMP-receptor complexes.

published proceedings

  • Cell Host Microbe

altmetric score

  • 3

author list (cited authors)

  • Shan, L., He, P., Li, J., Heese, A., Peck, S. C., Nrnberger, T., Martin, G. B., & Sheen, J.

citation count

  • 429

complete list of authors

  • Shan, Libo||He, Ping||Li, Jianming||Heese, Antje||Peck, Scott C||N├╝rnberger, Thorsten||Martin, Gregory B||Sheen, Jen

publication date

  • January 2008