Molecular mechanism for the recognition of sequence-divergent CIF peptides by the plant receptor kinases GSO1/SGN3 and GSO2

Using structure-guided sequence analysis we uncover previously uncharacterized CIF peptides conserved among higher plants. Quantitative binding assays with known and novel CIFs suggest that the homologous LRR-RKs GSO1/SGN3 and GSO2 have evolved unique peptide binding properties to control different developmental processes. A quantitative biochemical interaction screen, a CIF peptide antagonist and genetic analyses together implicate SERK proteins as essential coreceptor kinases required for GSO1/SGN3 and GSO2 receptor activation. 

Our work provides a mechanistic framework for the recognition of sequence-divergent peptide hormones in plants.

Plants use leucine-rich repeat receptor kinases (LRR-RKs) to sense sequence diverse peptide hormones at the cell surface. A 3.0-Å crystal structure of the LRR-RK GSO1/SGN3 regulating Casparian strip formation in the endodermis reveals a large spiral-shaped ectodomain. The domain provides a binding platform for 21 amino acid CIF peptide ligands, which are tyrosine sulfated by the tyrosylprotein sulfotransferase TPST/SGN2. GSO1/SGN3 harbors a binding pocket for sulfotyrosine and makes extended backbone interactions with CIF2. 

Quantitative biochemical comparisons reveal that GSO1/SGN3–CIF2 represents one of the strongest receptor–ligand pairs known in plants. Multiple missense mutations are required to block CIF2 binding in vitro and GSO1/SGN3 function in vivo

Using structure-guided sequence analysis we uncover previously uncharacterized CIF peptides conserved among higher plants. Quantitative binding assays with known and novel CIFs suggest that the homologous LRR-RKs GSO1/SGN3 and GSO2 have evolved unique peptide binding properties to control different developmental processes. A quantitative biochemical interaction screen, a CIF peptide antagonist and genetic analyses together implicate SERK proteins as essential coreceptor kinases required for GSO1/SGN3 and GSO2 receptor activation. 

Our work provides a mechanistic framework for the recognition of sequence-divergent peptide hormones in plants.

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