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The inhibition of elicitor-induced plant defense responses by the protein kinase inhibitors K252a and staurosporine indicates that defense responses require protein phosphorylation. We isolated a cDNA clone encoding Nicotiana tabacum lectin-like receptor protein kinase 1 ( NtlecRK1), an elicitor-responsive gene; in tobacco bright yellow ( BY-2) cells by a differential display method. NtlecRK forms a gene family with at least three members in tobacco. All three NtlecRK genes potentially encode the N-terminal legume lectin domain, transmembrane domain and C-terminal Ser/Thr-type protein kinase domain. Green fluorescent protein ( GFP) fusion showed that the NtlecRK1 protein was located on the plasma membrane. In addition, NtlecRK1 and 3 were responsive to INF1 elicitin and the bacterial elicitor harpin. These results indicate that NtlecRKs are membrane-located protein kinases that are induced during defense responses in BY-2 cells.
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