Functions of Calcium-Dependent Protein Kinases in Plant Innate Immunity. Academic Article uri icon


  • An increase of cytosolic Ca(2+) is generated by diverse physiological stimuli and stresses, including pathogen attack. Plants have evolved two branches of the immune system to defend against pathogen infections. The primary innate immune response is triggered by the detection of evolutionarily conserved pathogen-associated molecular pattern (PAMP), which is called PAMP-triggered immunity (PTI). The second branch of plant innate immunity is triggered by the recognition of specific pathogen effector proteins and known as effector-triggered immunity (ETI). Calcium (Ca(2+)) signaling is essential in both plant PTI and ETI responses. Calcium-dependent protein kinases (CDPKs) have emerged as important Ca(2+) sensor proteins in transducing differential Ca(2+) signatures, triggered by PAMPs or effectors and activating complex downstream responses. CDPKs directly transmit calcium signals by calcium binding to the elongation factor (EF)-hand domain at the C-terminus and substrate phosphorylation by the catalytic kinase domain at the N-terminus. Emerging evidence suggests that specific and overlapping CDPKs phosphorylate distinct substrates in PTI and ETI to regulate diverse plant immune responses, including production of reactive oxygen species, transcriptional reprogramming of immune genes, and the hypersensitive response.

published proceedings

  • Plants (Basel)

author list (cited authors)

  • Gao, X., Cox, K. L., & He, P.

citation count

  • 57

complete list of authors

  • Gao, Xiquan||Cox, Kevin L||He, Ping

publication date

  • January 2014


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