To Nibble at Plant Resistance Proteins

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Science  08 May 2009:
Vol. 324, Issue 5928, pp. 744-746
DOI: 10.1126/science.1171666

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To intercept invading microbes that threaten growth and reproduction, plants evolved a sophisticated innate immune system. Recognition of specialized pathogens is mediated by resistance proteins that function as molecular switches. Pathogen perception by these multidomain proteins seems to trigger a series of conformational changes dependent on nucleotide exchange. The activated resistance protein switches on host defenses, often culminating in the death of infected cells. Given their control over life and death, activity of these proteins requires tight regulation that involves intramolecular interactions between the various domains.

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