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Moonlighting proteins shine new light on molecular signaling niches

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journal contribution
posted on 2021-03-16, 02:30 authored by Ilona TurekIlona Turek, Helen IrvingHelen Irving
© 2021 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. Plants as sessile organisms face daily environmental challenges and have developed highly nuanced signaling systems to enable suitable growth, development, defense, or stalling re-sponses. Moonlighting proteins have multiple tasks and contribute to cellular signaling cascades where they produce additional variables adding to the complexity or fuzziness of biological sys-tems. Here we examine roles of moonlighting kinases that also generate 3’,5’-cyclic guanosine monophosphate (cGMP) in plants. These proteins include receptor like kinases and lipid kinases. Their guanylate cyclase activity potentiates the development of localized cGMP-enriched nanodomains or niches surrounding the kinase and its interactome. These nanodomains contribute to allosteric regulation of kinase and other molecules in the immediate complex directly or indirectly modulating signal cascades. Effects include downregulation of kinase activity, modulation of other members of the protein complexes such as cyclic nucleotide gated channels and potential triggering of cGMP-dependent degradation cascades terminating signaling. The additional layers of information provided by the moonlighting kinases are discussed in terms of how they may be used to provide a layer of fuzziness to effectively modulate cellular signaling cascades.


Publication Date



International Journal of Molecular Sciences





Article Number

ARTN 1367


(p. 1-22)





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