Immunomodulatory Phytocytokines in Plant Immunity

Microbial infection induces the expression of a large number of secreted peptide genes with unknown functions. We recently revealed that two groups of small secreted peptides, SCOOPs and SCREWs, function as immunomodulatory phytocytokines in plants and identified their corresponding receptors. We are interested in some key questions to advance our understanding of phytocytokine-mediated immunity with SCREW and SCOOP as examples 1) define their maturation and secretion processes, 2) identify the proteases that cleave the precursors, 3) identify the posttranslational modifications, and most importantly, 4) determine their mode-of-action in plant immunity and how they coordinate with microbial pattern-triggered immunity.

Mode-of-actions of phytocytokines in plant immunity.

Key references:

  1. Hou, S., Liu, D., Huang, S., Lou, D., Liu Z., Wang, P., Mu, R., Han, Z., Chai, J., Shan, L. and He, P. Immune activation by sensing conserved signatures from plant cytokines and pathogens via the Arabidopsis MIK2 receptor kinase. bioRxiv
  2. Hou, S., Yin, C., and He, P. (2019) Maturation and release: Peps prepare to work. Trends in Plant Science24: 787-790.
  3. Hou, S., Jamieson, P., and He, P. (2018) The cloak, dagger, and shield: proteases in plant-pathogen interactions. Biochemical Journal 475: 2491-2509.