Plant Molecular Biology 1031: 1031–1039, 2002.
© 2002 Kluwer Academic Publishers. Printed in the Netherlands.
14-3-3 proteins and the response to abiotic and biotic stress
Michael R. Roberts
, Julio Salinas
and David B. Collinge
Department of Biological Sciences, IENS, Lancaster University, Lancaster LA1 4YQ, UK (
author for correspon-
dence; e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org);
Departamento de Biotecnolog
ia, Instituto Nacional de Investigaci´on
ia Agraria y Alimentaria (INIA), Carretera de la Coruña, Km. 7, 28040 Madrid, Spain;
Plant Pathology, Department of Plant Biology, Royal Veterinary and Agricultural University, Thorvaldsensvej 40,
1871 Frederiksberg C, Copenhagen, Denmark
Received 6 September 2001; accepted in revised form 7 June 2002
Key words: 14-3-3 protein, abiotic stress, biotic stress, defence responses, plant pathogen, signalling
14-3-3 proteins function as regulators of a wide range of target proteins in all eukaryotes by effecting direct
protein-protein interactions. Primarily, interactions between 14-3-3 proteins and their targets are mediated by
phosphorylation at speciﬁc sites on the target protein. Hence, interactions with 14-3-3s are subject to environmental
control through signalling pathways which impact on 14-3-3 binding sites. Because 14-3-3 proteins regulate the
activities of many proteins involved in signal transduction, there are multiple levels at which 14-3-3 proteins
may play roles in stress responses in higher plants. In this article, we review evidence which implicates 14-
3-3 proteins in responses to environmental, metabolic and nutritional stresses, as well as in defence responses
to wounding and pathogen attack. This evidence includes stress-inducible changes in 14-3-3 gene expression,
interactions between 14-3-3 proteins and signalling proteins and interactions between 14-3-3 proteins and proteins
with defensive functions.
Abbreviations: ABA, abscisic acid; CDPK, calcium-dependent protein kinase/calmodulin domain protein kinase;
FC, fusicoccin; H
-ATPase, plasma membrane proton pumping ATPase; HR, hypersensitive response; NR, nitrate
Plants growing in nature constantly sense their en-
vironment and adapt to changes by using a range
of biochemical and molecular mechanisms. They ex-
hibit both long-term responses to the physical en-
vironment in the form of modiﬁed growth patterns
and metabolism, and short-term defence responses to
counter immediate threats such as pathogen attack. In
each case, the appropriate response is the result of
the perception of external information and the relay-
ing of this information between and within plant cells.
The molecular and genetic basis for stress response
signalling in plants has been the subject of intensive
research over the past decade or so, with major areas
for focus including responses to light, temperature,
water and salt stress, atmospheric pollutants such as
ozone, wounding, herbivory and pathogen infection.
Recent reviews of these areas can be found in Bray
(1997), de Bruxelles and Roberts (2001), Collinge
et al. (2001), Dangl and Jones (2001), Hasegawa et al.
(2000), Mackerness (2000), Mullineaux et al. (2000),
Srivastava (1999) and Thomashow (1999).
Intriguingly, though these stresses tend to elicit a
speciﬁc ﬁnal response, many of the signalling inter-
mediates, such as plant hormones, reactive oxygen
species, calcium, etc., are common to many path-
ways. In fact this is not entirely surprising, since the
plant must integrate its response to a particular stress
within the context of other environmental pressures.