The phytohormone abscisic acid (ABA) plays important regulatory roles in physiological pathways for plant growth and development and enables adaptation to environmental stresses, yet the protein recognition mechanisms for this hormone have eluded plant biologists. Crystallographic and small-angle X-ray scattering capabilities at the Advanced Light Source enabled researchers to determine the atomic resolution of the ABA receptor and identify conformational changes on the ABA binding site. Elucidating the structural mechanisms mediating ABA receptor recognition and signaling is essential for understanding and manipulating abiotic stress resistance. These results were listed as one of the top 10 scientific breakthroughs of the year in 2009 by Science.
Reference: Nishimura, N., et al. 2009. “Structural Mechanism of Abscisic Acid Binding and Signaling by Dimeric PYR1,” Science 326, 1373–79.
SC-33.2 Biological Systems Science Division, BER
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