|Structure and function of abscisic acid receptors.|
The phytohormone abscisic acid (ABA) plays a crucial role in adaptive responses to environmental stresses, such as drought and high salinity, as well as in plant development, such as seed maturation and dormancy. PYR/PYL/RCAR has been identified as a bona fide ABA receptor (ABAR) that constitutes the core regulatory component of ABA signaling networks in plants. Here, we review recent structural and functional studies of the ABAR that have elucidated its activation mechanism, early signaling components, and physiological responses. A crucial event in the receptor's activation was found to be an open-to-closed conformational change in the gate loop of the receptor protein. More recent progress has provided strategies for controlling the gate's closure using chemical agonists or protein engineering approaches.