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Gene Review

WOL  -  histidine kinase 4

Arabidopsis thaliana

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Disease relevance of WOL

  • Taking advantage of this AHK4-dependent His-->Asp phosphorelay system in E. coli, a phosphorelay interaction between the Arabidopsis His-kinase and histidine-containing phosphotransmitters (AHPs) was also demonstrated for the first time [1].
  • Interestingly, AHK4 is capable of functioning as a cytokinin sensor in the eubacterium, Escherichia coli (Suzuki et al. 2001, Plant Cell Physiol. 42: 107) [2].

High impact information on WOL

  • This fact, together with characteristics of ARR1-overexpressing plants and arr1 mutant plants, indicates that the phosphorelay to ARR1, probably from CRE1, constitutes an intracellular signal transduction occurring immediately after cytokinin perception [3].
  • In Arabidopsis, perception of the phytohormones ethylene and cytokinin is accomplished by a family of sensor histidine kinases including ethylene-resistant (ETR) 1 and cytokinin-response (CRE) 1 [4].
  • Application of exogenous cytokinins to the resultant strains revealed that both AHK2 and AHK3 function as positive regulators for cytokinin signaling similar to AHK4 [5].
  • The growth and development of the ahk2 ahk3 ahk4 triple mutant were markedly inhibited in various tissues and organs, including the roots and leaves in the vegetative growth phase and the influorescence meristem in the reproductive phase [5].
  • Two "hybrid" His kinases involved in cytokinin responses, CRE1, which encodes a cytokinin receptor, and CKI1, a gene that is capable of conferring cytokinin-independent shoot development, were upregulated during incubation on SIM [6].

Biological context of WOL

  • The recent discovery of the Arabidopsis Histidine Kinase 4 (AHK4)/CRE1/WOL cytokinin receptor in Arabidopsis thaliana strongly suggested that the cellular response to cytokinins involves a two-component signal transduction system [5].
  • For the higher plant, Arabidopsis thaliana, it was recently suggested that the His-kinase (AHK4 / CRE1 / WOL) is a sensor for cytokinins, which are a class of plant hormones important for the regulation of cell division and differentiation [2].
  • AHK4 has a presumed extracellular domain, within which a single amino acid substitution (Thr-301 to Ile) was shown to result in loss of its ability to bind cytokinins [2].
  • The characterisation of the WOODEN LEG (wol/cre1 mutant), impaired in procambial cell proliferation and the identification of WOL/CRE1 as a cytokinin receptor, provided the first genetic evidence pointing to a role of cytokinins in the formation of vascular initials [7].
  • However, the striking wol phenotype in vascular differentiation is unique among all the available cre1 alleles collection [7].

Anatomical context of WOL


Associations of WOL with chemical compounds


Other interactions of WOL

  • To get insights into the molecular function of A-type ARR in cytokinin response, we sought to find the components that function downstream of A-type ARR protein by investigating the effects of ARR7 overexpression on cytokinin-regulated gene expression with the Affymetrix full genome array [12].

Analytical, diagnostic and therapeutic context of WOL


  1. The Arabidopsis sensor His-kinase, AHk4, can respond to cytokinins. Suzuki, T., Miwa, K., Ishikawa, K., Yamada, H., Aiba, H., Mizuno, T. Plant Cell Physiol. (2001) [Pubmed]
  2. The Arabidopsis AHK4 histidine kinase is a cytokinin-binding receptor that transduces cytokinin signals across the membrane. Yamada, H., Suzuki, T., Terada, K., Takei, K., Ishikawa, K., Miwa, K., Yamashino, T., Mizuno, T. Plant Cell Physiol. (2001) [Pubmed]
  3. ARR1, a transcription factor for genes immediately responsive to cytokinins. Sakai, H., Honma, T., Aoyama, T., Sato, S., Kato, T., Tabata, S., Oka, A. Science (2001) [Pubmed]
  4. The response regulator 2 mediates ethylene signalling and hormone signal integration in Arabidopsis. Hass, C., Lohrmann, J., Albrecht, V., Sweere, U., Hummel, F., Yoo, S.D., Hwang, I., Zhu, T., Schäfer, E., Kudla, J., Harter, K. EMBO J. (2004) [Pubmed]
  5. Histidine kinase homologs that act as cytokinin receptors possess overlapping functions in the regulation of shoot and root growth in Arabidopsis. Nishimura, C., Ohashi, Y., Sato, S., Kato, T., Tabata, S., Ueguchi, C. Plant Cell (2004) [Pubmed]
  6. Global and hormone-induced gene expression changes during shoot development in Arabidopsis. Che, P., Gingerich, D.J., Lall, S., Howell, S.H. Plant Cell (2002) [Pubmed]
  7. Interallelic complementation at the Arabidopsis CRE1 locus uncovers independent pathways for the proliferation of vascular initials and canonical cytokinin signalling. de León, B.G., Zorrilla, J.M., Rubio, V., Dahiya, P., Paz-Ares, J., Leyva, A. Plant J. (2004) [Pubmed]
  8. Interaction between phosphate-starvation, sugar, and cytokinin signaling in Arabidopsis and the roles of cytokinin receptors CRE1/AHK4 and AHK3. Franco-Zorrilla, J.M., Martín, A.C., Leyva, A., Paz-Ares, J. Plant Physiol. (2005) [Pubmed]
  9. The AHK4 gene involved in the cytokinin-signaling pathway as a direct receptor molecule in Arabidopsis thaliana. Ueguchi, C., Sato, S., Kato, T., Tabata, S. Plant Cell Physiol. (2001) [Pubmed]
  10. Two cytokinin receptors of Arabidopsis thaliana, CRE1/AHK4 and AHK3, differ in their ligand specificity in a bacterial assay. Spíchal, L., Rakova, N.Y., Riefler, M., Mizuno, T., Romanov, G.A., Strnad, M., Schmülling, T. Plant Cell Physiol. (2004) [Pubmed]
  11. Biochemical characteristics and ligand-binding properties of Arabidopsis cytokinin receptor AHK3 compared to CRE1/AHK4 as revealed by a direct binding assay. Romanov, G.A., Lomin, S.N., Schm??lling, T. J. Exp. Bot. (2006) [Pubmed]
  12. Genome-wide expression profiling of ARABIDOPSIS RESPONSE REGULATOR 7(ARR7) overexpression in cytokinin response. Lee, D.J., Park, J.Y., Ku, S.J., Ha, Y.M., Kim, S., Kim, M.D., Oh, M.H., Kim, J. Mol. Genet. Genomics (2007) [Pubmed]
  13. Preparation and biological activity of 6-benzylaminopurine derivatives in plants and human cancer cells. Dolezal, K., Popa, I., Krystof, V., Spíchal, L., Fojtíková, M., Holub, J., Lenobel, R., Schmülling, T., Strnad, M. Bioorg. Med. Chem. (2006) [Pubmed]
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