Arabidopsis plasma membrane protein crucial for Ca2+ influx and touch sensing in roots

Yuko Nakagawa, Takeshi Katagiri, Kazuo Shinozaki, Zhi Qi, Hitoshi Tatsumi, Takuya Furuichi, Akio Kishigami, Masahiro Sokabe, Itaru Kojima, Shusei Sato, Tomohiko Kato, Satoshi Tabata, Kazuko Iida, Asuka Terashima, Masataka Nakano, Mitsunobu Ikeda, Takuya Yamanaka, Hidetoshi Iida

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

270 Citations (Scopus)


Plants can sense and respond to mechanical stimuli, like animals. An early mechanism of mechanosensing and response is speculated to be governed by as-yet-unidentified sensory complexes containing a Ca2+-permeable, stretch-activated (SA) channel. However, the components or regulators of such complexes are poorly understood at the molecular level in plants. Here, we report the molecular identification of a plasma membrane protein (designated Mca1) that correlates Ca2+ influx with mechanosensing in Arabidopsis thaliana. MCA1 cDNA was cloned by the functional complementation of lethality of a yeast mid1 mutant lacking a putative Ca2+-permeable SA channel component. Mca1 was localized to the yeast plasma membrane as an integral membrane protein and mediated Ca2+ influx. Mca1 also increased [Ca2+]cyt upon plasma membrane distortion in Arabidopsis. The growth of MCA1-overexpressing plants was impaired in a high-calcium but not a low-calcium medium. The primary roots of mca1-null plants failed to penetrate a harder agar medium from a softer one. These observations demonstrate that Mca1 plays a crucial role in a Ca2+-permeable SA channel system that leads to mechanosensing in Arabidopsis, We anticipate our findings to be a starting point for a deeper understanding of the molecular mechanisms of mechanotransduction in plants.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3639-3644
Number of pages6
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 2007 Feb 27
Externally publishedYes


  • Calcium
  • Calcium channel
  • Calcium uptake
  • Mechanosensing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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