An extracellular network of Arabidopsis leucine-rich repeat receptor kinases

Elwira Smakowska-Luzan, G. Adam Mott, Katarzyna Parys, Martin Stegmann, Timothy C. Howton, Mehdi Layeghifard, Jana Neuhold, Anita Lehner, Jixiang Kong, Karin Grünwald, Natascha Weinberger, Santosh B. Satbhai, Dominik Mayer, Wolfgang Busch, Mathias Madalinski, Peggy Stolt-Bergner, Nicholas J. Provart, M. Shahid Mukhtar, Cyril Zipfel, Darrell DesveauxDavid S. Guttman, Youssef Belkhadir

Research output: Contribution to journalLetterpeer-review

175 Citations (Scopus)


The cells of multicellular organisms receive extracellular signals using surface receptors. The extracellular domains (ECDs) of cell surface receptors function as interaction platforms, and as regulatory modules of receptor activation1,2. Understanding how interactions between ECDs produce signal-competent receptor complexes is challenging because of their low biochemical tractability3,4. In plants, the discovery of ECD interactions is complicated by the massive expansion of receptor families, which creates tremendous potential for changeover in receptor interactions5. The largest of these families in Arabidopsis thaliana consists of 225 evolutionarily related leucine-rich repeat receptor kinases (LRR-RKs)5, which function in the sensing of microorganisms, cell expansion, stomata development and stem-cell maintenance6,7,8,9. Although the principles that govern LRR-RK signalling activation are emerging1,10, the systems-level organization of this family of proteins is unknown. Here, to address this, we investigated 40,000 potential ECD interactions using a sensitized high-throughput interaction assay3, and produced an LRR-based cell surface interaction network (CSILRR) that consists of 567 interactions. To demonstrate the power of CSILRR for detecting biologically relevant interactions, we predicted and validated the functions of uncharacterized LRR-RKs in plant growth and immunity. In addition, we show that CSILRR operates as a unified regulatory network in which the LRR-RKs most crucial for its overall structure are required to prevent the aberrant signalling of receptors that are several network-steps away. Thus, plants have evolved LRR-RK networks to process extracellular signals into carefully balanced responses.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)342–346
Number of pages5
Early online date10 Jan 2018
Publication statusPublished - 18 Jan 2018

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