MST50 is involved in multiple MAP kinase signaling pathways in Magnaporthe oryzae

Guotian Li, Xue Zhang, Huan Tian, Yoon E. Choi, W. Andy Tao, Jin Rong Xu

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41 Citations (Scopus)


Appressorium formation plays a critical role in Magnaporthe oryzae. Mst50 is an adapter protein of the Mst11-Mst7-Pmk1 cascade that is essential for appressorium formation. To further characterize its functions, affinity purification was used to identify Mst50-interacting proteins (MIPs) in this study. Two of the MIPs are Mst11 and Mst7 that are known to interact with Mst50 for Pmk1 activation. Surprisingly, two other MIPs are Mck1 and Mkk2 that are the upstream kinases of the Mps1 pathway. Domain deletion analysis showed that the sterile alpha-motif of Mst50 but not the Ras-association domain was important for its interaction with Mck1 and responses to cell wall and oxidative stresses. The mst50 mutant was reduced in Mps1 activation under stress conditions. MIP11 encodes a RACK1 protein that also interacted with Mck1. Deletion of MIP11 resulted in defects in cell wall integrity, Mps1 phosphorylation and plant infection. Furthermore, Mst50 interacted with histidine kinase Hik1, and the mst50 mutant was reduced in Osm1 phosphorylation. These results indicated that Mst50 is involved in all three MAPK pathways in M. oryzae although its functions differ in each pathway. Several MIPs are conserved hypothetical proteins and may be involved in responses to various signals and crosstalk among signaling pathways.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1959-1974
Number of pages16
JournalEnvironmental Microbiology
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2017 May

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We thank Dr. Steve Goodwin at Purdue University for critical reading of this manuscript. This work was supported by grants from the USDA Integrated Research Program (#2007-35319-102681) and from USDA-NIFA (2012-67013-19381). GL was partially supported by a CSC fellowship (#2008630021). The authors have no conflict of interest.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017 Society for Applied Microbiology and John Wiley & Sons Ltd

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology
  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics


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