Flexible functional interactions between G-protein subunits contribute to the specificity of plant responses

Swarup Roy Choudhury, Mao Li, Veronica Lee, Raja Sekhar Nandety, Kirankumar S. Mysore, Sona Pandey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


Plants being sessile integrate information from a variety of endogenous and external cues simultaneously to optimize growth and development. This necessitates the signaling networks in plants to be highly dynamic and flexible. One such network involves heterotrimeric G-proteins comprised of Gα, Gβ, and Gγ subunits, which influence many aspects of growth, development, and stress response pathways. In plants such as Arabidopsis, a relatively simple repertoire of G-proteins comprised of one canonical and three extra-large Gα, one Gβ and three Gγ subunits exists. Because the Gβ and Gγ proteins form obligate dimers, the phenotypes of plants lacking the sole Gβ or all Gγ genes are similar, as expected. However, Gα proteins can exist either as monomers or in a complex with Gβγ, and the details of combinatorial genetic and physiological interactions of different Gα proteins with the sole Gβ remain unexplored. To evaluate such flexible, signal-dependent interactions and their contribution toward eliciting a specific response, we have generated Arabidopsis mutants lacking specific combinations of Gα and Gβ genes, performed extensive phenotypic analysis, and evaluated the results in the context of subunit usage and interaction specificity. Our data show that multiple mechanistic modes, and in some cases complex epistatic relationships, exist depending on the signal-dependent interactions between the Gα and Gβ proteins. This suggests that, despite their limited numbers, the inherent flexibility of plant G-protein networks provides for the adaptability needed to survive under continuously changing environments.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)207-221
Number of pages15
JournalPlant Journal
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 1 2020


  • Arabidopsis thaliana
  • extra-large G-proteins
  • G-protein β-subunit
  • heterotrimeric G-proteins


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