Involvement of a MAP kinase, ZmMPK5, in senescence and recovery from low-temperature stress in maize

T. Berberich, H. Sano, T. Kusano

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    72 Citations (Scopus)


    Four species of protein kinase were identified in senescent maize leaves using a gel assay for kinase activity with myelin basic protein (MBP) as the substrate. Most of these kinases were also found in healthy green leaves that had been exposed to low-temperature stress (5°C) and then returned to 25°C. A 41-kDa protein was activated in senescent leaves, whereas a 45-kDa protein was activated 3 h after up-shift from 5°C to 25°C as well as in senescent leaves. A 39-kDa protein was activated by cold stress. The other two proteins, of 35 kDa and 52 kDa, constitutively phosphorylated MBP during senescence and temperature up-shift. Judging from their molecular masses, cation requirements and substrate specificities, it seemed likely that the 39-kDa, 41-kDa and 45-kDa proteins represented mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPKs). Subsequently two MAPK cDNAs were isolated from a cDNA library constructed using mRNAs from senescent leaves. Northern analysis showed that the transcript corresponding to one of the cDNAs, designated ZmMPK5, accumulated in healthy leaves 3 h after the up-shift to 25°C as well as in senescent leaves, suggesting that the 45-kDa protein kinase is encoded by ZmMPK5. Western analysis using an antiserum against the C-terminal region of ZmMPK5 showed that the level of the ZmMPK5 protein increased in senescent leaves. These results indicate that a 45-kDa MAPK is involved in the process of senescence and in recovery from low-temperature stress in maize plants.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)534-542
    Number of pages9
    JournalMolecular and General Genetics
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - 1999


    • Low temperature
    • MAP kinase
    • Maize
    • Senescence
    • cDNA cloning

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Genetics


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