Early cytokinin response proteins and phosphoproteins of Arabidopsis thaliana identified by proteome and phosphoproteome profiling
Cytokinins are plant hormones involved in regulation of diverse developmental and physiological processes in plants whose molecular mechanisms of action are being intensely researched. However, most rapid responses to cytokinin signals at the proteomic and phosphoproteomic levels are unknown. Early cytokinin responses were investigated through proteome-wide expression profiling based on image and mass spectrometric analysis of two-dimensionally separated proteins and phosphoproteins. The effects of 15 min treatments of 7-day-old Arabidopsis thaliana seedlings with four main cytokinins representing hydroxyisopentenyl, isopentenyl, aromatic, and urea-derived type cytokinins were compared to help elucidate their common and specific function(s) in regulating plant development. In proteome and phosphoproteome maps, significant differences were reproducibly observed for 53 and 31 protein spots, respectively. In these spots, 96 proteins were identified by matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization time-of-flight/time-of-flight mass spectrometry (MALDI-TOF/TOF MS), providing a snapshot of early links in cytokinin-regulated signalling circuits and cellular processes, including light signalling and photosynthesis, nitrogen metabolism, the CLAVATA pathway, and protein and gene expression regulation, in accordance with previously described cytokinin functions. Furthermore, they indicate novel links between temperature and cytokinin signalling, and an involvement of calcium ions in cytokinin signalling. Most of the differentially regulated proteins and phosphoproteins are located in chloroplasts, suggesting an as yet uncharacterized direct signalling chain responsible for cytokinin action in chloroplasts. Finally, first insights into the degree of specificity of cytokinin receptors on phosphoproteomic effects were obtained from analyses of cytokinin action in a set of cytokinin receptor double mutants.