Investigating the Role of the Arabidopsis Homologue of the Human G3BP in RNA Metabolism, Cellular Stress Responses and Innate Immunity

  • Aala A. Abulfaraj

Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis


Mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPKs) belong to the most conserved signaling pathways and are found in all eukaryotes, including humans where they play important roles in various diseases and cancer. Stimulation of this signal transduction pathway by microbe-associated molecular patterns (MAMP) results in a multitude of events to regulate innate immune responses in Arabidopsis thaliana stimulating large-scale changes in gene expression. Starting from a phosphoproteomic screen in Arabidopsis thaliana wild type and mpk3, mpk4 and mpk6 mutants following microbe-associated molecular pattern (MAMP) treatment, several novel chromatin-associated proteins were identified that are differentially phosphorylated by stress-induced protein kinases. Arabidopsis Ras GTPase-activating protein SH3-domain-binding protein (AtG3BP-1) is a downstream putative substrate of the MAMP-stimulated MAPK pathway that is phosphorylated by MPK3, 4 and 6 in in vitro kinase assays. AtG3BP1 belongs to a highly conserved family of RNA-binding proteins in eukaryotes that link kinase receptormediated signaling to RNA metabolism. Here, we report the characterization of the Arabidopsis homolog of human G3BP1 in plant innate immunity. AtG3BP1 negatively regulates plant immunity and defense immune responses. Atg3bp1 mutant lines show constitutive stomata closure, expression of a number of key defense marker genes, and accumulate salicylic acid but not jasmonic acid. Furthermore, Atg3bp1 plants exhibit enhanced resistance to the biotrophic pathogen Pseudomonas syringae pv. tomato. Pathogen resistance was mediated by stomatal and apoplastic immunity in Atg3bp1. More generally, our data reinforce that AtG3BP1 is a key mediator of plant defense responses and transient expression of AtG3BP1 delivered striking disease resistance in the absence of yield penalty, highlighting a potential application of this gene in crop protection.
Date of AwardApr 2018
Original languageEnglish (US)
Awarding Institution
  • Biological, Environmental Sciences and Engineering
SupervisorHeribert Hirt (Supervisor)


  • Signaling
  • Stomatal Immunity
  • Salicylic Acid
  • G3BP1
  • Arabidopsis
  • MAPK

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