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In Arabidopsis thaliana, the Salt Overly Sensitive 2 (SOS2) gene is required for intracellular Na(+) and K(+) homeostasis. Mutations in SOS2 cause Na(+) and K(+) imbalance and render plants more sensitive toward growth inhibition by high Na(+) and low K(+) environments. We isolated the SOS2 gene through positional cloning. SOS2 is predicted to encode a serine/threonine type protein kinase with an N-terminal catalytic domain similar to that of the yeast SNF1 kinase. Sequence analyses of sos2 mutant alleles reveal that both the N-terminal catalytic domain and the C-terminal regulatory domain of SOS2 are functionally essential. The steady-state level of SOS2 transcript is up-regulated by salt stress in the root. Autophosphorylation assays show that SOS2 is an active protein kinase. In the recessive sos2-5 allele, a conserved glycine residue in the kinase catalytic domain is changed to glutamate. This mutation abolishes SOS2 autophosphorylation, indicating that SOS2 protein kinase activity is required for salt tolerance.

Citation

J Liu, M Ishitani, U Halfter, C S Kim, J K Zhu. The Arabidopsis thaliana SOS2 gene encodes a protein kinase that is required for salt tolerance. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. 2000 Mar 28;97(7):3730-4

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PMID: 10725382

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