Mechanisms of RALF peptide perception by a heterotypic receptor complex (Nature) ($)

RALFs (Rapid Alkalinization Factors, based on historical observations that they induce alkalization of the extracellular space) are signaling peptides with diverse roles. RALFs have previously been shown to bind to the extracellular domain of (among others) FERONIA (FER), a member of the Catharanthus roseus RLK1-like (CrRLK1L) family. LORELIE-Like GPI-membrane anchored protein (LLG) has been shown to operate in the FER signaling pathway. Now, Xiao et al. have found that RALF23 binds to a complex formed by FER and LLG. They also identified an N-terminal “YISY” sequence that is conserved in other RALFs and that is important for this interaction. Their data also suggest that the RALF+FER can interact with other LLGs, which could explain the diverse processes that RALFs and FER are involved in. (Summary by Mary Williams) Nature 10.1038/s41586-019-1409-7