Cellulose is an essential component of plant cell walls and an economically important source of food, paper, textiles, and biofuel. Despite its economic and biological significance, the regulation of cellulose biosynthesis is poorly understood. Phosphorylation and dephosphorylation of cellulose synthases (CESAs) were shown to impact the direction and velocity of cellulose synthase complexes (CSCs). However, the protein kinases that phosphorylate CESAs are largely unknown. We conducted research in Arabidopsis thaliana to reveal protein kinases that phosphorylate CESAs. In this study, we used yeast two-hybrid, protein biochemistry, genetics, and live-cell imaging to reveal the role of calcium-dependent protein kinase32 (CPK32) in the regulation of cellulose biosynthesis in A. thaliana. We identified CPK32 using CESA3 as a bait in a yeast two-hybrid assay. We showed that CPK32 phosphorylates CESA3 while it interacts with both CESA1 and CESA3. Overexpressing functionally defective CPK32 variant and phospho-dead mutation of CESA3 led to decreased motility of CSCs and reduced crystalline cellulose content in etiolated seedlings. Deregulation of CPKs impacted the stability of CSCs. We uncovered a new function of CPKs that regulates cellulose biosynthesis and a novel mechanism by which phosphorylation regulates the stability of CSCs.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Plant Science