The plant hormone abscisic acid (ABA) regulates potassium and chloride ion channels at the plasma membrane of guard cells, leading to stomatal closure that reduces transpirational water loss from the leaf. The tobacco Nt-SYR1 gene encodes a syntaxin that is associated with the plasma membrane. Syntaxins and related SNARE proteins aid intracellular vesicle trafficking, fusion, and secretion. Disrupting Nt-Syr1 function by cleavage with Clostridium botulinum type C toxin or competition with a soluble fragment of Nt-Syr1 prevents potassium and chloride ion channel response to ABA in guard cells and implicates Nt-Syr1 in an ABA-signaling cascade.
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