Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications, Vol.525, No.3, 537-542, 2020
Thr420 and Ser454 of ZmCCaMK play a crucial role in brassinosteroid-induced antioxidant defense in maize
Calcium/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase (CCaMK) has been shown to play important roles in brassinosteroid (BR)-induced antioxidant defense and enhancing the tolerance of plants to drought stress. The autophosphorylation of CCaMK is a key step for the activation of CCaMK, thus promoting substrate phosphorylation. However, how CCaMK autophosphorylation function in BR-induced antioxidant defense is not known yet. Here, seven potential autophosphorylation sites of ZmCCaMK were identified using mass spectroscopy (liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry [LC-MS/MS]) analysis. The transient gene expression analysis in maize protoplasts showed that Thr420 and Ser454 of ZmCCaMK were important for BR-induced antioxidant defense. Furthermore, Thr420 and Ser454 of ZmCCaMK were crucial for improving drought tolerance and alleviating drought induced oxidative damage of plants via overexpressing various mutant versions of ZmCCaMK in tobacco (Nicotiana tabacum). Mutations of Thr420 and Ser454 in ZmCCaMK substantially blocked the autophosphorylation and substrate phosphorylation of ZmCCaMK in vitro. Taken together, our results demonstrate that Thr420 and Ser454 of ZmCCaMK are crucial for BR-induced antioxidant defense and drought tolerance through modulating the autophosphorylation and substrate phosphorylation activities of ZmCCaMK. (C) 2020 Published by Elsevier Inc.