What is it about?

The gaseous hormone ethylene regulates many aspects of plant growth and development, the best known role being in the regulation of fruit ripening. However the molecular basis by which ethylene receptors bind and respond to ethylene concentrations at less than one part per billion has remained an unresolved question. Here, evolutionary and computational modeling approaches were used to develop a new molecular model for the ethylene binding site of the receptor ETR1 and key features of this model validated experimentally. Results shed light on the basis for high-affinity ethylene binding and how ethylene binding is transduced to mediate changes in signal output by the receptor.

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Why is it important?

The new model for how ethylene receptors function is relevant to our understanding of bacterial chemotaxis, convergent receptor evolution, and the development of ethylene nanosensors for agricultural and industrial applications.


This article represents a collaboration among scientists at multiple institutions, joined by a passion to better understand the mechanism by which a protein can bind a small gaseous signaling molecule with extremely high affinity.

G. Eric Schaller
Dartmouth College

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Basis for high-affinity ethylene binding by the ethylene receptor ETR1 of Arabidopsis, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, May 2023, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences,
DOI: 10.1073/pnas.2215195120.
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