Subtilase-mediated biogenesis of the expanded family of SERINE RICH ENDOGENOUS PEPTIDES

  • Published:
  • Authors: Yang H, Kim X, Skłenar J, Aubourg S, Sancho-Andrés G, Stahl E, Guillou MC, Gigli-Bisceglia N, Tran Van Canh L, Bender KW, Stintzi A, Reymond P, Sánchez-Rodríguez C, Testerink C, Renou JP, Menke FLH, Schaller A, Rhodes J, Zipfel C (2023)
  • Reference: Nat Plants. 2023 Dec 4. doi: 10.1038/s41477-023-01583-x

Plant signalling peptides are typically released from larger precursors by proteolytic cleavage to regulate plant growth, development and stress responses. Recent studies reported the characterization of a divergent family of Brassicaceae-specific peptides, SERINE RICH ENDOGENOUS PEPTIDES (SCOOPs), and their perception by the leucine-rich repeat receptor kinase MALE DISCOVERER 1-INTERACTING RECEPTOR-LIKE KINASE 2 (MIK2). Here, we reveal that the SCOOP family is highly expanded, containing at least 50 members in the Columbia-0 reference Arabidopsis thaliana genome. Notably, perception of these peptides is strictly MIK2-dependent. How bioactive SCOOP peptides are produced, and to what extent their perception is responsible for the multiple physiological roles associated with MIK2 are currently unclear. Using N-terminomics, we validate the N-terminal cleavage site of representative PROSCOOPs. The cleavage sites are determined by conserved motifs upstream of the minimal SCOOP bioactive epitope. We identified subtilases necessary and sufficient to process PROSCOOP peptides at conserved cleavage motifs. Mutation of these subtilases, or their recognition motifs, suppressed PROSCOOP cleavage and associated overexpression phenotypes. Furthermore, we show that higher-order mutants of these subtilases show phenotypes reminiscent of mik2 null mutant plants, consistent with impaired PROSCOOP biogenesis, and demonstrating biological relevance of SCOOP perception by MIK2. Together, this work provides insights into the molecular mechanisms underlying the functions of the recently identified SCOOP peptides and their receptor MIK2.