Proteolytic Processing of SERK3/BAK1 Regulates Plant Immunity, Development, and Cell Death. Academic Article uri icon


  • Plants have evolved many receptor-like kinases (RLKs) to sense extrinsic and intrinsic cues. The signaling pathways mediated by multiple Leucine-rich repeat (LRR) RLK (LRR-RLK) receptors require ligand-induced receptor-coreceptor heterodimerization and transphosphorylation with BRI1-ASSOCIATED RECEPTOR KINASE1 (BAK1)/SOMATIC EMBRYOGENESIS RECEPTOR KINASES family LRR-RLKs. Here we reveal an additional layer of regulation of BAK1 via a Ca2+-dependent proteolytic cleavage process that is conserved in Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana), Nicotiana benthamiana, and Saccharomyces cerevisiae The proteolytic cleavage of BAK1 is intrinsically regulated in response to developmental cues and immune stimulation. The surface-exposed Asp (D287) residue of BAK1 is critical for its proteolytic cleavage and plays an essential role in BAK1-regulated plant immunity, growth hormone brassinosteroid-mediated responses, and cell death containment. BAK1D287A mutation impairs BAK1 phosphorylation on its substrate BOTRYTIS-INDUCED KINASE1 (BIK1), and its plasma membrane localization. Intriguingly, it aggravates BAK1 overexpression-triggered cell death independent of BIK1, suggesting that maintaining homeostasis of BAK1 through a proteolytic process is crucial to control plant growth and immunity. Our data reveal that in addition to layered transphosphorylation in the receptor complexes, the proteolytic cleavage is an important regulatory process for the proper functions of the shared coreceptor BAK1 in diverse cellular signaling pathways.

published proceedings

  • Plant Physiol

altmetric score

  • 13.2

author list (cited authors)

  • Zhou, J., Wang, P., Claus, L., Savatin, D. V., Xu, G., Wu, S., ... Shan, L.

citation count

  • 28

complete list of authors

  • Zhou, Jinggeng||Wang, Ping||Claus, Lucas AN||Savatin, Daniel V||Xu, Guangyuan||Wu, Shujing||Meng, Xiangzong||Russinova, Eugenia||He, Ping||Shan, Libo

publication date

  • May 2019