Connections between sphingosine kinase and phospholipase D in the abscisic acid signaling pathway in Arabidopsis

Liang Guo, Girish Mishra, Jonathan E. Markham, Maoyin Li, Amanda Tawfall, Ruth Welti, Xuemin Wang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

80 Scopus citations


Phosphatidic acid (PA) and phytosphingosine 1-phosphate (phyto-S1P) both are lipid messengers involved in plant response to abscisic acid (ABA). Our previous data indicate that PA binds to sphingosine kinase (SPHK) and increases its phyto- S1P-producing activity. To understand the cellular and physiological functions of the PA-SPHK interaction, we isolated Arabidopsis thaliana SPHK mutants sphk1-1 and sphk2-1 and characterized them, together with phospholipase Dα1 knockout, pldα1, in plant response to ABA. Compared with wild-type (WT) plants, the SPHK mutants and pldα1 all displayed decreased sensitivity to ABA-promoted stomatal closure. Phyto-S1P promoted stomatal closure in sphk1-1 and sphk2-1, but not in pldα1, whereas PA promoted stomatal closure in sphk1-1, sphk2-1, and pldα1. The ABA activation of PLDα1 in leaves and protoplasts was attenuated in the SPHK mutants, and the ABA activation of SPHK was reduced in pldα1. In response to ABA, the accumulation of long-chain base phosphates was decreased in pldα1, whereas PA production was decreased in SPHK mutants, compared with WT. Collectively, these results indicate that SPHK and PLDα1 act together in ABA response and that SPHK and phyto-S1P act upstream of PLDα1 and PA in mediating the ABA response. PA is involved in the activation of SPHK, and activation of PLDα1 requires SPHK activity. The data suggest that SPHK/phyto-S1P and PLDα1A are co-dependent in amplification of response to ABA, mediating stomatal closure in Arabidopsis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)8286-8296
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number11
StatePublished - Mar 9 2012
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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