Overexpression of the PP2A-C5 gene confers increased salt tolerance in Arabidopsis thaliana

Rongbin Hu, Yinfeng Zhu, Guoxin Shen, Hong Zhang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Protein phosphatase 2A (PP2A) was shown to play important roles in biotic and abiotic stress signaling pathways in plants. PP2A is made of 3 subunits: a scaffolding subunit A, a regulatory subunit B, and a catalytic subunit C. It is believed that the B subunit recognizes specific substrates and the C subunit directly acts on the selected substrates, whereas the A subunit brings a B subunit and a C subunit together to form a specific PP2A holoenzyme. Because there are multiple isoforms for each PP2A subunit, there could be hundreds of novel PP2A holoenzymes in plants. For an example, there are 3 A subunits, 17 B subunits, and 5 C subunits in Arabidopsis, which could form 255 different PP2A holoenzymes. Understanding the roles of these PP2A holoenzymes in various signaling pathways is a challenging task. In a recent study,1 we discovered that PP2A-C5, the catalytic subunit 5 of PP2A, plays an important role in salt tolerance in Arabidopsis. We found that a knockout mutant of PP2A-C5 (i.e. pp2a-c5–1) was very sensitive to salt treatments, whereas PP2A-C5-overexpressing plants were more tolerant to salt stresses. Genetic analyses between pp2a-c5–1 and Salt-Overly-Sensitive (SOS) mutants indicated that PP2A-C5 does not function in the same pathway as SOS genes. Using yeast 2-hybrid analysis, we found that PP2A-C5 interacts with several vacuolar membrane bound chloride channel proteins. We hypothesize that these vacuolar chloride channel proteins might be PP2A-C5's substrates in vivo, and the action of PP2A-C5 on these channel proteins could increase or activate their activities, thereby result in accumulation of the chloride and sodium contents in vacuoles, leading to increased salt tolerance in plants.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere1276687
JournalPlant Signaling and Behavior
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1 2017


  • Chloride channel protein
  • protein phosphatase 2A
  • salt stress
  • signaling


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