Biochemical Characterization of MAPK6 Enzyme in Regards to Plant Innate Immunity Response Pathways

Student Name: 
Alex D. Doan
UCD Department: 
Department of Plant Biology and The Genome Center
UCD Mentor: 
S.P Dinesh-Kumar

Plants and animals have evolved and developed different methods of immunity to defend themselves against various attacking pathogens. One technique is by recognizing such pathogens through recognition receptor proteins located on the extracellular membrane and then signaling a response pathway. In this lab, the MAPK6 enzyme of the MAP/ERK pathway in Arabidopsis thaliana was studied and biochemically characterized. The gene for the protein was cloned, expressed in bacteria and the protein then purified through extraction. By running an analytical gel exclusion chromatography, MAPK6 was then determined to be monomeric structurally. Also, through an in vitro reaction with ATP, the protein was determined to be an active kinase that utilizes phosphorylation to transmit immune responses within the cascading pathway.