Jang Yan
Peking University
Lu Liu
Peking University
Yuhan Zhu
Beihang University
3 more
© 2016 American Society of Plant Biologists. All rights reserved.Calcium/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase has been shown to play an important role in abscisic acid -induced antioxidant defense and enhance the tolerance of plants to drought stress. However, its downstream molecular events are poorly understood. Here, we identify a NAC transcription factor, ZmNAC84, in maize, which physically interacts with ZmCCaMK in vitro and in vivo. ZmNAC84 displays a partially overlapping expression pattern with ZmCCaMK after ABA treatment, and H2O2 is required for ABA-induced ZmNAC84expression. Functional analysis reveals that ZmNAC84 is essential for ABA-induced antioxidant defense in a ZmCCaMK-dependent manner. Furthermore, ZmCCaMK directly phosphorylates Ser-113 of ZmNAC84 in vitro, and Ser-113 is essential for the ABA-induced stimulation of antioxidant defense by ZmCCaMK. Moreover, overexpression of ZmNAC84 in tobacco can improve drought tolerance and alleviate drought-induced oxidative damage of transgenic plants. These results define a mechanism for ZmCCaMK function in ABA-induced antioxidant defense, where ABA-produced H2O2 first induces expression of ZmCCaMK and ZmNAC84 and activates ZmCCaMK. Subsequently, the activated ZmCCaMK phosphorylates ZmNAC84 at Ser-113, thereby inducing antioxidant defense by activating downstream genes.
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