Ca2+ has long been recognized as a conserved second messenger and principal mediator in plant immune and stress responses. How Ca2+ signals are sensed and relayed into diverse primary and global signaling events is still largely unknown. Comprehensive analyses of the plant-specific multigene family of Ca2+-dependent protein kinases (CDPKs) are unraveling the molecular, cellular and genetic mechanisms of Ca2+ signaling. CDPKs, which exhibit overlapping and distinct expression patterns, sub-cellular localizations, substrate specificities and Ca2+ sensitivities, play versatile roles in the activation and repression of enzymes, channels and transcription factors. Here, we review the recent advances on the multifaceted functions of CDPKs in the complex immune and stress signaling networks, including oxidative burst, stomatal movements, hormonal signaling and gene regulation.
Marie Boudsocq, Jen Sheen