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Gene Review

HK1  -  histidine kinase 1

Arabidopsis thaliana

Synonyms: AHK1, ATHK1, T13L16.16, T13L16_16
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Disease relevance of ATHK1

  • To more comprehensively identify genes involved in the downstream pathways affected by the ATHK1-mediated response to water stress, we created a large-scale summary of expression data, termed the AtMegaCluster [1].

High impact information on ATHK1

  • Two-component systems use a histidine kinase as an environmental sensor and rely on a phosphorelay for signal transduction [2].
  • CRE1 expression conferred a cytokinin-dependent growth phenotype on a yeast mutant that lacked the endogenous histidine kinase SLN1 (ref. 10), providing direct evidence that CRE1 is a cytokinin receptor [2].
  • The Arabidopsis sensor histidine kinase CRE1 was recently reported to be a cytokinin receptor [3].
  • Expression analysis involving AHK:beta-glucuronidase fusion genes suggested that the AHK genes are expressed ubiquitously in various tissues during postembryonic growth and development [4].
  • Our results thus strongly suggest that the primary functions of AHK genes, and those of endogenous cytokinins, are triggering of the cell division and maintenance of the meristematic competence of cells to prevent subsequent differentiation until a sufficient number of cells has accumulated during organogenesis [4].

Biological context of ATHK1

  • Restriction fragment length polymorphism mapping showed that the ATHK1 gene is on chromosome 2 [5].
  • We identified four histidine kinase (HK) genes of a cytokinin receptor family, two histidine-containing phosphotransmitter (HPt) genes, thirteen A-type response regulator (RR) genes and six B-type RR genes in the rice genome [6].
  • Fourteen genes encode 22 putative histidine kinases with a conserved histidine and other typical histidine kinase signature sequences, five phosphotransfer genes encoding seven phosphotransfer proteins, and 32 response regulator genes encoding 44 proteins [7].

Associations of ATHK1 with chemical compounds

  • By contrast, ATHK1 cDNAs in which conserved His or Asp residues had been substituted failed to complement the sln1-ts mutant, indicating that ATHK1 functions as a histidine kinase [5].
  • Furthermore, these results indicate that aspects of ethylene signaling may be regulated by changes in histidine kinase activity of the receptor [8].
  • Phytochromes have two carboxyl-terminal structural domains called the PAS repeat domain and the histidine kinase-related domain [9].
  • Evidence for serine/threonine and histidine kinase activity in the tobacco ethylene receptor protein NTHK2 [10].

Other interactions of ATHK1

  • Introduction of the ATHK1 cDNA into the yeast double mutant sln1Delta sho1Delta, which lacks two osmosensors, suppressed lethality in high-salinity media and activated the high-osmolarity glycerol response 1 (HOG1) mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) [5].
  • We detected a specific interaction between ATHK1 and ATHP1 [11].
  • Two other hybrid-type histidine kinases, CKI1 and ATHK1, are implicated in cytokinin signaling and osmosensing processes, respectively [12].

Analytical, diagnostic and therapeutic context of ATHK1


  1. Analysis of the Arabidopsis histidine kinase ATHK1 reveals a connection between vegetative osmotic stress sensing and seed maturation. Wohlbach, D.J., Quirino, B.F., Sussman, M.R. Plant. Cell (2008) [Pubmed]
  2. Identification of CRE1 as a cytokinin receptor from Arabidopsis. Inoue, T., Higuchi, M., Hashimoto, Y., Seki, M., Kobayashi, M., Kato, T., Tabata, S., Shinozaki, K., Kakimoto, T. Nature (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. 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]
  5. A transmembrane hybrid-type histidine kinase in Arabidopsis functions as an osmosensor. Urao, T., Yakubov, B., Satoh, R., Yamaguchi-Shinozaki, K., Seki, M., Hirayama, T., Shinozaki, K. Plant Cell (1999) [Pubmed]
  6. Identification and characterization of cytokinin-signalling gene families in rice. Ito, Y., Kurata, N. Gene (2006) [Pubmed]
  7. Whole-Genome Analysis of Oryza sativa Reveals Similar Architecture of Two-Component Signaling Machinery with Arabidopsis. Pareek, A., Singh, A., Kumar, M., Kushwaha, H.R., Lynn, A.M., Singla-Pareek, S.L. Plant Physiol. (2006) [Pubmed]
  8. Histidine kinase activity of the ETR1 ethylene receptor from Arabidopsis. Gamble, R.L., Coonfield, M.L., Schaller, G.E. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. (1998) [Pubmed]
  9. The histidine kinase-related domain participates in phytochrome B function but is dispensable. Krall, L., Reed, J.W. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. (2000) [Pubmed]
  10. Evidence for serine/threonine and histidine kinase activity in the tobacco ethylene receptor protein NTHK2. Zhang, Z.G., Zhou, H.L., Chen, T., Gong, Y., Cao, W.H., Wang, Y.J., Zhang, J.S., Chen, S.Y. Plant Physiol. (2004) [Pubmed]
  11. Possible His to Asp phosphorelay signaling in an Arabidopsis two-component system. Urao, T., Miyata, S., Yamaguchi-Shinozaki, K., Shinozaki, K. FEBS Lett. (2000) [Pubmed]
  12. Two-component systems in plant signal transduction. Urao, T., Yamaguchi-Shinozaki, K., Shinozaki, K. Trends Plant Sci. (2000) [Pubmed]
  13. Inhibition of the plant cytokinin transduction pathway by bacterial histidine kinase inhibitors in Catharanthus roseus cell cultures. Papon, N., Clastre, M., Gantet, P., Rideau, M., Chénieux, J.C., Crèche, J. FEBS Lett. (2003) [Pubmed]
  14. The ethylene-receptor family from Arabidopsis: structure and function. Bleecker, A.B., Esch, J.J., Hall, A.E., Rodríguez, F.I., Binder, B.M. Philos. Trans. R. Soc. Lond., B, Biol. Sci. (1998) [Pubmed]
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