Tóth, Katalin; Stratil, Thomas F.; Madsen, Esben B.; Ye, Juanying; Popp, Claudia; Antolín-Llovera, Meritxell; Grossmann, Christina; Jensen, Ole N.; Schüssler, Arthur; Parniske, Martin; Ott, Thomas (2012): Functional domain analysis of the Remorin protein LjSYMREM1 in Lotus japonicus.
In: PLOS ONE 7(1), e30817




In legumes rhizobial infection during root nodule symbiosis (RNS) is controlled by a conserved set of receptor proteins and downstream components. MtSYMREM1, a protein of the Remorin family in Medicago truncatula, was shown to interact with at least three receptor-like kinases (RLKs) that are essential for RNS. Remorins are comprised of a conserved C-terminal domain and a variable N-terminal region that defines the six different Remorin groups. While both N- and C-terminal regions of Remorins belonging to the same phylogenetic group are similar to each other throughout the plant kingdom, the N-terminal domains of legume-specific group 2 Remorins show exceptional high degrees of sequence divergence suggesting evolutionary specialization of this protein within this clade. We therefore identified and characterized the MtSYMREM1 ortholog from Lotus japonicus (LjSYMREM1), a model legume that forms determinate root nodules. Here, we resolved its spatio-temporal regulation and showed that over-expression of LjSYMREM1 increases nodulation on transgenic roots. Using a structure-function approach we show that protein interactions including Remorin oligomerization are mainly mediated and stabilized by the Remorin C-terminal region with its coiled-coil domain while the RLK kinase domains transiently interact in vivo and phosphorylate a residue in the N-terminal region of the LjSYMREM1 protein in vitro. These data provide novel insights into the mechanism of this putative molecular scaffold protein and underline its importance during rhizobial infection.