Multiple upstream signals converge on the adaptor protein Mst50 in Magnaporthe grisea

Gyungsoon Park, Chaoyang Xue, Xinhua Zhao, Yangseon Kim, Marc Orbach, Jin Rong Xu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

130 Scopus citations


Rice blast fungus (Magnaporthe grisea) forms a highly specialized infection structure for plant penetration, the appressorium, the formation and growth of which are regulated by the Mst11-Mst7-Pmk1 mitogen-activated protein kinase cascade. We characterized the MST50 gene that directly interacts with both MST11 and MST7. Similar to the mst11 mutant, the mst50 mutant was defective in appressorium formation, sensitive to osmotic stresses, and nonpathogenic. Expressing a dominant active MST7 allele in mst50 complemented its defects in appressorium but not lesion formation. The sterile α-motif (SAM) domain of Mst50 was essential for its interaction with Mst11 and for appressorium formation. Although the SAM and Ras-association domain (RAD) of Mst50 were dispensable for its interaction with Mst7, deletion of RAD reduced appressorium formation and virulence on rice (Oryza sativa) seedlings. The interaction between Mst50 and Mst7 or Mst11 was detected by coimmunoprecipitation assays in developing appressoria. Mst50 also interacts with Ras1, Ras2, Cdc42, and Mgb1 in yeast two-hybrid assays. Expressing a dominant active RAS2 allele in the wild-type strain but not in mst50 stimulated abnormal appressorium formation. These results indicate that MST50 functions as an adaptor protein interacting with multiple upstream components and plays critical roles in activating the Pmk1 cascade for appressorium formation and plant infection in M. grisea.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2822-2835
Number of pages14
JournalPlant Cell
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2006

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Plant Science
  • Cell Biology


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