Salicylic acid (SA) is a key plant hormone that mediates host responses against microbial pathogens. Identification and characterization of SA-interacting/binding proteins is a topic which has always excited scientists studying microbial defense response in plants. It is likely that discovery of a true receptor for SA may greatly advance understanding of this important signaling pathway. SABP2 with its high affinity for SA was previously considered to be a SA receptor. Despite a great deal work we may still not have true a receptor for SA. It is also entirely possible that there may be more than one receptor for SA. This scenario is more likely given the diverse role of SA in various physiological processes in plants including, modulation of opening and closing of stomatal aperture, flowering, seedling germination, thermotolerance, photosynthesis, and drought tolerance. Recent identification of NPR3, NPR4 and NPR1 as potential SA receptors and α-ketoglutarate dehydrogenase (KGDHE2), several glutathione S transferases (GSTF) such as SA binding proteins have generated more interest in this field. Some of these SA binding proteins may have direct/indirect role in plant processes other than pathogen defense signaling. Development and use of new techniques with higher specificity to identify SA-interacting proteins have shown great promise and have resulted in the identification of several new SA interactors. This review focuses on SA interaction/binding proteins identified so far and their likely role in mediating plant defenses.
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