The Maize AAA-Type Protein SKD1 Confers Enhanced Salt and Drought Stress Tolerance in Transgenic Tobacco by Interacting with Lyst-Interacting Protein 5

>ATPase associated with various cellular activities (AAA) proteins are important regulators involved in diverse cellular functions. To date, the molecular mechanisms of AAA proteins involved in response to salt and drought stresses in plants are largely unknown. In this study, a putative SKD1 (suppressor of K+ transport growth defect 1) ortholog from Zea mays (ZmSKD1), which encodes a putative AAA protein, was isolated. The transcript levels of ZmSKD1 were higher in aerial tissues and were markedly up-regulated by salt or drought stress. Over-expression of ZmSKD1 in tobacco plants enhanced their tolerances not only to salt but to drought. Moreover, reactive oxygen species accumulations in ZmSKD1 transgenic lines were relative less than those in wild-type plants during salt or PEG-induced water stress. The interaction between ZmSKD1 and NtLIP5 (Lyst-Interacting Protein 5 homolog from Nicotiana tabacum) was confirmed by both yeast two-hybrid and immuno-precipitation assays; moreover, the α-helix-rich domain in the C-terminus of ZmSKD1 was identified to be required for its interaction with NtLIP5 using truncation mutations. Collectively, these data demonstrate that ZmSKD1could be involved in salt and drought stress responses and its over-expression enhances salt or drought stress tolerance possibly through interacting with LIP5 in tobacco. This study may facilitate our understandings of the biological roles of SKD1-mediated ESCRT pathway under stress conditions in higher plants and accelerate genetic improvement of crop plants tolerant to environmental stresses.

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