A fast brassinolide-regulated response pathway in the plasma membrane of Arabidopsis thaliana

Katharina Caesar, Kirstin Elgass, Zhonghua Chen, Peter Huppenberger, Frank E Schleifenbaum, Michael R Blatt, Claudia Oecking, Klaus Harter

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63 Citations (Scopus)


To understand molecular processes in living plant cells, quantitative spectro-microscopic technologies are required. By combining fluorescence lifetime spectroscopy with confocal microscopy, we studied the subcellular properties and function of a GFP-tagged variant of the plasma membrane-bound brassinosteroid receptor BRI1 (BRI1-GFP) in living cells of Arabidopsis seedlings. Shortly after adding brassinolide, we observed BRI1-dependent cell-wall expansion, preceding cell elongation. In parallel, the fluorescence lifetime of BRI1-GFP decreased, indicating an alteration in the receptor s physico-chemical environment. The parameter modulating the fluorescence lifetime of BRI1-GFP was found to be BL-induced hyperpolarization of the plasma membrane. Furthermore, for induction of hyperpolarization and cell-wall expansion, activation of the plasma membrane P-ATPase was necessary. This activation required BRI1 kinase activity, and was mediated by BL-modulated interaction of BRI1 with the P-ATPase. Our results were used to develop a model suggesting that there is a fast BL-regulated signal response pathway within the plasma membrane that links BRI1 with P-ATPase for the regulation of cell-wall expansion.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)528 - 540
Number of pages13
JournalThe Plant Journal
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2011
Externally publishedYes

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