Menu

Elusive Receptor ID’d

Scientists identify an extracellular ATP receptor in plants.

Apr 1, 2014
Kerry Grens

ATP SENSORS: Treatment of an Arabidopsis seedling (right) with extracellular ATP causes an increase in intracellular calcium, as indicated by the colors (left).KIWAMU TANAKA

EDITOR'S CHOICE IN MOLECULAR BIOLOGY

The paper
J. Choi et al., “Identification of a plant receptor for extracellular ATP,” Science, 343:290-94, 2014.

The missing piece
The membrane receptors that help mammalian cells respond to extracellular ATP have been known for two decades. Over the years, evidence that plants also use extracellular ATP had bubbled up in the literature, but no one had identified the receptor until a determined team of plant scientists spent five years working on a massive genetic screen in Arabidopsis.

The find
Gary Stacey’s group at the University of Missouri analyzed 50,000 mutagenized seedlings to find one that did not respond to the addition of extracellular ATP. The gene responsible encodes a lectin receptor kinase, a finding that surprised Stacey, given that lectins are usually associated with proteins that bind sugars. “When we found this, it made me worry,” he says, “but then we found it bound ATP with high affinity.”

The signals
Knowing the receptor’s identity can help uncover the role of extracellular ATP, which Stacey suspects to be important in stress responses. His group showed in the study that many of the genes whose expression is induced by ATP signaling are also expressed following wounding. “Everyone assumed it was wounding” causing this upregulation, he says. “But now we showed it’s the ATP coming out of the wound that’s inducing this response.”

The others
“Their data [are] quite convincing” that the lectin receptor kinase is an extracellular ATP receptor, but there might be others waiting to be found, says Stephen Chivasa, who studies extracellular ATP in plants at Durham University in the U.K. “My suspicion is that there will be even more coming out.”

February 2019

Big Storms Brewing

Can forests weather more major hurricanes?

Marketplace

Sponsored Product Updates

Bio-Rad Releases First FDA-Cleared Digital PCR System and Test for Monitoring Chronic Myeloid Leukemia Treatment Response
Bio-Rad Releases First FDA-Cleared Digital PCR System and Test for Monitoring Chronic Myeloid Leukemia Treatment Response
Bio-Rad Laboratories, Inc. (NYSE: BIO and BIOb), a global leader of life science research and clinical diagnostic products, today announced that its QXDx AutoDG ddPCR System, which uses Bio-Rad’s Droplet Digital PCR technology, and the QXDx BCR-ABL %IS Kit are the industry’s first digital PCR products to receive U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) clearance. Used together, Bio-Rad’s system and kit can precisely and reproducibly monitor molecular response to treatment in patients with chronic myeloid leukemia (CML).
Bio-Rad Showcases New Automation Features of its ZE5 Cell Analyzer at SLAS 2019
Bio-Rad Showcases New Automation Features of its ZE5 Cell Analyzer at SLAS 2019
Bio-Rad Laboratories, Inc. (NYSE: BIO and BIOb) today showcases new automation features of its ZE5 Cell Analyzer during the Society for Laboratory Automation and Screening 2019 International Conference and Exhibition (SLAS) in Washington, D.C., February 2–6. These capabilities enable the ZE5 to be used for high-throughput flow cytometry in biomarker discovery and phenotypic screening.
Andrew Alliance and Sartorius Collaborate to Provide Software-Connected Pipettes for Life Science Research
Andrew Alliance and Sartorius Collaborate to Provide Software-Connected Pipettes for Life Science Research
Researchers to benefit from an innovative software-connected pipetting system, bringing improved reproducibility and traceability of experiments to life-science laboratories.
Corning Life Sciences to Feature 3D Cell Culture Technologies at SLAS 2019
Corning Life Sciences to Feature 3D Cell Culture Technologies at SLAS 2019
Corning Incorporated (NYSE: GLW) will showcase advanced 3D cell culture technologies and workflow solutions for spheroids, organoids, tissue models, and applications including ADME/toxicology at the Society for Laboratory Automation and Screening (SLAS) conference, Feb. 2-6 in Washington, D.C.