MaMPK2 enhances MabZIP93-mediated transcriptional activation of cell wall modifying genes during banana fruit ripening

  • Chaojie Wu
  • Wei Shan
  • Shumin Liang
  • Lisha Zhu
  • Yufan Guo
  • Jianye Chen
  • Wangjin Lu
  • Qianfeng Li
  • Xinguo SuEmail author
  • Jianfei KuangEmail author


Transcriptional regulation is an essential molecular machinery in controlling gene expression in diverse plant developmental processes including fruit ripening. This involves the interaction of transcription factors (TFs) and promoters of target genes. In banana, although a number of fruit ripening-associated TFs have been characterized, their number is relatively small. Here we identified a nuclear-localized basic leucine zipper (bZIP) TF, MabZIP93, associated with banana ripening. MabZIP93 activated cell wall modifying genes MaPL2, MaPE1, MaXTH23 and MaXGT1 by directly binding to their promoters. Transient over-expression of MabZIP93 in banana fruit resulted in the increased expression of MaPL2, MaPE1, MaXTH23 and MaXGT1. Moreover, a mitogen-activated protein kinase MaMPK2 and MabZIP93 were found to interact with MabZIP93. The interaction of MabZIP93 with MaMPK2 enhanced MabZIP93 activation of cell wall modifying genes, which was likely due to the phosphorylation of MabZIP93 mediated by MaMPK2. Overall, this study shows that MaMPK2 interacts with and phosphorylates MabZIP93 to promote MabZIP93-mediated transcriptional activation of cell wall modifying genes, thereby expanding our understanding of gene networks associated with banana fruit ripening.

Key Message

MaMPK2 interacts with and phosphorylates MabZIP93, which enhances MabZIP93 activation of cell wall modifying genes including MaPL2, MaPE1, MaXTH23 and MaXGT1 during banana ripening.


Banana fruit bZIP MAPK Transcriptional regulation Protein phosphorylation 





Basic helix–loop–helix


Bimolecular fluorescence complementation


Basic leucine zipper


Electrophroretic mobility shift assay


Ethylene response factor


Mitogen-activated protein kinase


Polymerase chain reaction


Pectin esterase


Pectate lyase


Sodium dodecyl sulfate-poly acrylamide gel electrophoresis


Transcription factor


Xyloglucan galactosyltransferase


Xyloglucan endo-transglycosylase/hydrolase


Yeast two-hybrid



The authors would like to thank Professor George P. Lomonossoff (Department of Biological Chemistry, John Innes Centre, Norwich Research Park) for the generous gifts of pEAQ vectors, and Professor Prakash Lakshmanan (Sugarcane Research Institute, Guangxi Academy of Agricultural Sciences, China) for English language editing. This work was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant Nos. 31772021 and 31401922), Guangdong Special Support Program (Grant No. 2017TQ04N512) and China Agriculture Research System (Grant No. CARS-31-11).

Author’s contribution

JK and XS conceived and designed the experiments; CW performed most of the experiments; WS, SL, LZ and YG performed some of the experiments; JK and XS wrote the manuscript; QL, JC and WL gave advices and revised the manuscript. All authors read and approved the manuscript.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no competing interests.

Supplementary material

11103_2019_895_MOESM1_ESM.doc (5 mb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOC 5164 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Guangdong Provincial Key Laboratory of Postharvest Science of Fruits and Vegetables/Engineering Research Center of Southern Horticultural Products Preservation, Ministry of Education, College of HorticultureSouth China Agricultural UniversityGuangzhouPeople’s Republic of China
  2. 2.Guangdong Food and Drug Vocational CollegeGuangzhouPeople’s Republic of China
  3. 3.Key Laboratory of Crop Genetics and Physiology of Jiangsu Province/Jiangsu Key Laboratory of Crop Genomics and Molecular Breeding, College of AgricultureYangzhou UniversityYangzhouPeople’s Republic of China

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