Raf-like kinases CBC1 and CBC2 negatively regulate stomatal opening by negatively regulating plasma membrane H+-ATPase phosphorylation in Arabidopsis†
Stomatal pores, which are surrounded by pairs of guard cells in the plant epidermis, regulate gas exchange between plants and the atmosphere, thereby controlling photosynthesis and transpiration. Blue light works as a signal to guard cells, to induce intracellular signaling and open stomata. Blue light receptor phototropins (phots) are activated by blue light; phot-mediated signals promote plasma membrane (PM) H+-ATPase activity via C-terminal Thr phosphorylation, serving as the driving force for stomatal opening in guard cells. However, the details of this signaling process are not fully understood. In this study, through an in vitro screening of phot-interacting protein kinases, we obtained the CBC1 and CBC2 that had been reported as signal transducers in stomatal opening. Promoter activities of CBC1 and CBC2 indicated that both genes were expressed in guard cells. Single and double knockout mutants of CBC1 and CBC2 showed no lesions in the context of phot-mediated phototropism, chloroplast movement, or leaf flattening. In contrast, the cbc1cbc2 double mutant showed larger stomatal opening under both dark and blue light conditions. Interestingly, the level of phosphorylation of C-terminal Thr of PM H+-ATPase was higher in double mutant guard cells. The larger stomatal openings of the double mutant were effectively suppressed by the phytohormone abscisic acid (ABA). CBC1 and CBC2 interacted with BLUS1 and PM H+-ATPase in vitro. From these results, we conclude that CBC1 and CBC2 act as negative regulators of stomatal opening, probably via inhibition of PM H+-ATPase activity.