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Phosphorylation of mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) is required for cytokinesis and progression of cell cycle in tobacco BY-2 cells

Ma, Zhaowu, Yu, Guanghui
Journal of plant physiology 2010 v.167 no.3 pp. 216-221
mitosis, cytokinesis, gene expression regulation, cultured cells, Nicotiana tabacum, protein phosphorylation, mitogen-activated protein kinase, tobacco, plant proteins
The role of mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) in plant cytokinesis remains largely uncharacterized. To elucidate its role, tobacco Bright Yellow-2 (BY-2) cells have been synchronized using a two-step procedure, and the different phases of the cell cycle identified by Histone 4 gene expression and the mitotic index. MAPK expression was analyzed by semi-quantitative (SQ) RT-PCR and protein gel blot analysis for phosphorylated MAPK during cell cycle progression. The SQ RT-PCR analysis indicated that MAPK expression is lower in mitosis than in interphase (G1, G2 and S). However, the amount of phosphorylated MAPK remained stable throughout the cell cycle, indicating that MAPK activity is predominantly regulated at the post-translational level and that phosphorylation of MAPK plays an important role in mitosis. Application of the specific MAPK phosphorylation inhibitor U0126 revealed that while U0126 treatment decreases the phosphorylation of MAPK and the progression from telophase to early cytokinesis is significantly inhibited. The formation of the phragmoplast is also negatively affected at this stage. These results demonstrate that MAPK phosphorylation is involved in the formation of the cell plate within the phragmoplast during cytokinesis and that MAPK predominantly functions during the cytokinesis stage of the cell cycle in tobacco BY-2 cells.