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SUMO conjugation to the pattern recognition receptor FLS2 triggers intracellular signalling in plant innate immunity.

Orosa, Beatriz and Yates, Gary and Verma, Vivek and Srivastava, Anjil K. and Srivastava, Moumita and Campanaro, Alberto and De Vega, Daniel and Fernandes, Alanna and Zhang, Cunjin and Lee, Jack and Bennett, Malcolm J. and Sadanandom, Ari (2018) 'SUMO conjugation to the pattern recognition receptor FLS2 triggers intracellular signalling in plant innate immunity.', Nature communications., 9 (1). p. 5185.


Detection of conserved microbial patterns by host cell surface pattern recognition receptors (PRRs) activates innate immunity. The FLAGELLIN-SENSITIVE 2 (FLS2) receptor perceives bacterial flagellin and recruits another PRR, BAK1 and the cytoplasmic-kinase BIK1 to form an active co-receptor complex that initiates antibacterial immunity in Arabidopsis. Molecular mechanisms that transmit flagellin perception from the plasma-membrane FLS2-associated receptor complex to intracellular events are less well understood. Here, we show that flagellin induces the conjugation of the SMALL UBIQUITIN-LIKE MODIFIER (SUMO) protein to FLS2 to trigger release of BIK1. Disruption of FLS2 SUMOylation can abolish immune responses, resulting in susceptibility to bacterial pathogens in Arabidopsis. We also identify the molecular machinery that regulates FLS2 SUMOylation and demonstrate a role for the deSUMOylating enzyme, Desi3a in innate immunity. Flagellin induces the degradation of Desi3a and enhances FLS2 SUMOylation to promote BIK1 dissociation and trigger intracellular immune signalling.

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Publisher statement:This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article’s Creative Commons license and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this license, visit
Date accepted:13 November 2018
Date deposited:02 January 2019
Date of first online publication:05 December 2018
Date first made open access:02 January 2019

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