Two-component signal transduction pathways typically composed of a sensor histidine kinase that receives the input stimuli and then phosphorylates a response regulator that effects an appropriate change in cellular physiology. Histidine kinases and response regulators have an intrinsic modularity that separates signal input, phosphotransfer, and output response; this modularity has allowed bacteria to dramatically expand and diversify their signaling capabilities. Plants likely gained two-component pathways through the integration of chloroplast genes into the nuclear genome. Whereas two-component genes are found in yeasts, filamentous fungi, slime molds, and plants, they are conspicuously absent from higher eukaryotes and metazoans. The plant hormone cytokinin signaling involves His kinase receptors that perceive cytokinin and transmit the signal via a multistep phosphorelay similar to bacterial two-component signaling systems. The final targets of this phosphorelay are a set of Arabidopsis thaliana Response Regulator (ARR) proteins containing a receiver domain with a conserved Asp phosphorylation site. One class of these, the type-A ARRs, are negative regulators of cytokinin signaling that are rapidly transcriptionally upregulated in response to cytokinin.
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