Three related receptor-like kinases are required for optimal cell elongation in Arabidopsis thaliana.
ABSTRACT: Cell elongation in plants is controlled by environmental cues such as light and internal growth regulators including plant steroid hormones, brassinosteroids (BRs). In this study, we found that 3 related receptor-like kinases (RLKs), HERCULES1, THESEUS1, and FERONIA, are transcriptionally induced by BRs and are down-regulated in the loss-of-function BR mutant bri1 and up-regulated in the constitutive BR-response mutant bes1-D. These RLKs belong to the CrRLK family that has 17 members in Arabidopsis. We hypothesize that these RLKs are involved in BR-regulated processes. Although 2 of the RLKs were recently found to mediate male-female interaction during pollen tube reception (FERONIA) and to sense cell wall integrity (THESEUS1), our genetic studies demonstrated that they are required for cell elongation during vegetative growth as herk1 the1 double and fer RNAi mutants displayed striking dwarf phenotypes. The herk1 the1 double mutant enhances the dwarf phenotype of bri1 and partially suppresses bes1-D phenotype, supporting a role of HERK1/THE1 in BR-mediated cell elongation. Microarray experiments demonstrated that these RLKs control the expression of a unique set of genes including those implicated in cell elongation and 16% of the genes affected in herk1 the1 are regulated by BRs. Our results, therefore, identify a previously unknown pathway that functions cooperatively with, but largely independent of the BR pathway to regulate cell elongation. The work establishes a platform to identify other signaling components in this important pathway for plant growth and provides a paradigm to study the coordination of independent pathways in the regulation of a common biological process.
Project description:Cell walls are not only a protective barrier surrounding protoplasts but serve as signaling platform between the extracellular environment and the intracellular physiology. Ions of heavy metals and trace elements, summarized to metal ions, bind to cell wall components, trigger their modification and provoke growth responses. To examine if metal ions trigger cell wall sensing receptor like kinases (RLKs) of the Catharanthus roseus RLK1-like (CrRLK1L) family we employed a molecular genetic approach. Quantitative transcription analyses show that HERCULES1 (HERK1), THESEUS1 (THE1), and FERONIA (FER) were differently regulated by cadmium (Cd), nickel (Ni), and lead (Pb). Growth responses were quantified for roots and etiolated hypocotyls of related mutants and overexpressors on Cd, copper (Cu), Ni, Pb, and zinc (Zn) and revealed a complex pattern of gene specific, overlapping and antagonistic responses. Root growth was often inversely affected to hypocotyl elongation. For example, both HERK genes seem to negatively regulate hypocotyl elongation upon Cd, Ni, Zn, and Pb while they support root growth on Cd, Cu, and Ni. The different THE1 alleles exhibited a similar effect between roots and hypocotyls on Ni, where the loss-of-function mutant was more tolerant while the gain of function mutants were hypersensitive indicating that THE1 is mediating Ni specific inhibition of hypocotyl elongation in the dark. In contrast hypocotyl elongation of the knock-out mutant, fer-4, was hypersensitive to Ni but exhibited a higher tolerance to Cd, Cu, Pb, and Zn. These data indicate an antagonistic action between THE1 and FER in relation to hypocotyl elongation upon excess of Ni. FERs function as receptor for rapid alkalinization factors (RALFs) was tested with the indicator bromocresol purple. While fer-4 roots strongly acidified control and metal ion containing media, the etiolated hypocotyls alkalized the media which is consistent with the already shorter hypocotyl of fer-4. No other CrRLK1L mutant exhibited this phenotype except of the THE1:GFP overexpressor on Ni suggesting that THE1 might be involved in Ni induced and hypocotyl specific RALF signaling and growth regulating pathway. Overall, our findings establish a molecular link between metal ion stress, growth and the cell wall integrity sensors of the CrRLK1L family.
Project description:Plant steroid hormones, brassinosteroids (BRs), play important roles in plants. BRs regulate the expression of several thousand genes, half of which are induced and the other half repressed by the hormone. BRs signal through plasma membrane-localized receptor kinase brassinosteroid-insensitive 1 (BRI1), BRI1-associated receptor kinase (BAK1), and several intermediates to regulate the protein levels, cellular localizations, and/or DNA binding of BRI1-EMS suppressor 1 (BES1)/brassinazole-resistant 1 (BZR1) family transcription factors. Although BES1 is known to interact with other transcription factors, histone-modifying enzymes, and transcription elongation factors to activate BR-induced genes, how BES1 mediates the BR-repressed gene expression is not known. Here, we show that BES1 interacts with myeloblastosis family transcription factor-like 2 (MYBL2), a transcription repressor, to down-regulate BR-repressed gene expression. The loss-of-function mybl2 mutant enhances the phenotype of a weak allele of bri1 and suppresses the constitutive BR-response phenotype of bes1-D. The results suggest that suppression of BR-repressed gene expression is required for optimal BR response. Moreover, MYBL2 is a substrate of glycogen synthase kinase 3 (GSK3)-like kinase brassinosteroid-insensitive 2 (BIN2), which has been well established as a negative regulator in the BR pathway by phosphorylating and inhibiting the functions of BES1/BZR1. Unlike BIN2 phosphorylation of BES1/BZR1 leading to protein degradation, BIN2 phosphorylation stabilizes MYBL2. Such dual role of phosphorylation has also been reported in WNT signaling pathway in which GSK3 phosphorylation destabilizes ?-catenin and stabilizes Axin, a scaffolding protein facilitating the phosphorylation of ?-catenin by GSK3. Our results thus establish the mechanisms for BR-repressed gene expression and the integration of BR signaling and BR transcriptional network.
Project description:A paradox of plant hormone biology is how a single small molecule can affect a diverse array of growth and developmental processes. For instance, brassinosteroids (BRs) regulate cell elongation, vascular differentiation, senescence and stress responses. BRs signal through the BES1/BZR1 (bri1-Ethylmethane Sulphonate suppressor 1/brassinazole-resistant 1) family of transcription factors, which regulate hundreds of target genes involved in this pathway, yet little is known of this transcriptional network. Through microarray and chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP) experiments, we identified a direct target gene of BES1, AtMYB30, which encodes an MYB family transcription factor. AtMYB30 null mutants display decreased BR responses and enhance the dwarf phenotype of a weak allele of the BR receptor mutant bri1. Many BR-regulated genes have reduced expression and/or hormone-induction in AtMYB30 mutants, indicating that AtMYB30 functions to promote expression of a subset of BR target genes. AtMYB30 and BES1 bind to a conserved MYB-binding site and E-box sequences, respectively, in the promoters of genes that are regulated by both BRs and AtMYB30. Finally, AtMYB30 and BES1 interact with each other both in vitro and in vivo. These results demonstrate that BES1 and AtMYB30 function cooperatively to promote BR target gene expression. Our results therefore establish a new mechanism by which AtMYB30, a direct target of BES1, functions to amplify BR signaling by helping BES1 activate downstream target genes.
Project description:Brassinosteroids (BRs) are plant hormones that regulate many processes including cell elongation, leaf development, pollen tube growth and xylem differentiation. GSK3/shaggy-like kinases (GSK) are critical regulators of intracellular signalling initiated by the binding of BR to the BRI1 receptor complex. Three GSKs have already been shown to relay BR responses, including phosphorylation of the transcriptional regulator BES1. However, recent studies indicate that one or more yet unidentified protein kinases are involved in BR signalling. Here, we show that the in vivo protein kinase activity of the group-III GSK, ASKtheta, was negatively regulated by BRI1. Arabidopsis thaliana plants with enhanced ASKtheta activity displayed a bri1-like phenotype. ASKtheta overexpressors accumulated high levels of brassinolide, castasterone and typhasterol, and were insensitive to BR. ASKtheta localized to the nucleus and directly phosphorylated BES1 and BZR1. Moreover, the BES1/BZR1-like transcription factor BEH2 was isolated as an ASKtheta interaction partner in a yeast two-hybrid screen. ASKtheta phosphorylated BEH2 both in vitro and in vivo. Overall, these data provide strong evidence that ASKtheta is a novel component of the BR signalling cascade, targeting the transcription factors BES1, BZR1 and BEH2.
Project description:The phytohormones, brassinosteroids (BRs), play important roles in regulating cell elongation and cell size, and BR-related mutants in Arabidopsis display significant dwarf phenotypes. Cellulose is a biopolymer which has a major contribution to cell wall formation during cell expansion and elongation. However, whether BRs regulate cellulose synthesis, and if so, what the underlying mechanism of cell elongation induced by BRs is, is unknown. The content of cellulose and the expression levels of the cellulose synthase genes (CESAs) was measured in BR-related mutants and their wild-type counterpart. The chromatin immunoprecipitation (CHIP) experiments and genetic analysis were used to demonstrate that BRs regulate CESA genes. It was found here that the BR-deficient or BR-perceptional mutants contain less cellulose than the wild type. The expression of CESA genes, especially those related to primary cell wall synthesis, was reduced in det2-1 and bri1-301, and was only inducible by BRs in the BR-deficient mutant det2-1. CHIP experiments show that the BR-activated transcription factor BES1 can associate with upstream elements of most CESA genes particularly those related with the primary cell wall. Furthermore, over-expression of the BR receptor BRI1 in CESA1, 3, and 6 mutants can only partially rescue the dwarf phenotypes. Our findings provide potential insights into the mechanism that BRs regulate cellulose synthesis to accomplish the cell elongation process in plant development.
Project description:Plant steroid hormones, brassinosteroids (BRs), regulate essential growth and developmental processes. BRs signal through membrane-localized receptor BRI1 and several other signaling components to regulate the BES1 and BZR1 family transcription factors, which in turn control the expression of hundreds of target genes. However, knowledge about the transcriptional mechanisms by which BES1/BZR1 regulate gene expression is limited. By a forward genetic approach, we have discovered that Arabidopsis thaliana Interact-With-Spt6 (AtIWS1), an evolutionarily conserved protein implicated in RNA polymerase II (RNAPII) postrecruitment and transcriptional elongation processes, is required for BR-induced gene expression. Loss-of-function mutations in AtIWS1 lead to overall dwarfism in Arabidopsis, reduced BR response, genome-wide decrease in BR-induced gene expression, and hypersensitivity to a transcription elongation inhibitor. Moreover, AtIWS1 interacts with BES1 both in vitro and in vivo. Chromatin immunoprecipitation experiments demonstrated that the presence of AtIWS1 is enriched in transcribed as well as promoter regions of the target genes under BR-induced conditions. Our results suggest that AtIWS1 is recruited to target genes by BES1 to promote gene expression during transcription elongation process. Recent genomic studies have indicated that a large number of genes could be regulated at steps after RNAPII recruitment; however, the mechanisms for such regulation have not been well established. The study therefore not only establishes an important role for AtIWS1 in plant steroid-induced gene expression but also suggests an exciting possibility that IWS1 protein can function as a target for pathway-specific activators, thereby providing a unique mechanism for the control of gene expression.
Project description:Brassinosteroids (BRs) are important plant growth hormones that regulate a wide range of plant growth and developmental processes. The BR signals are perceived by two cell surface-localized receptor kinases, Brassinosteroid-Insensitive1 (BRI1) and BRI1-Associated receptor Kinase (BAK1), and reach the nucleus through two master transcription factors, bri1-EMS suppressor1 (BES1) and Brassinazole-resistant1 (BZR1). The intracellular transmission of the BR signals from BRI1/BAK1 to BES1/BZR1 is inhibited by a constitutively active kinase Brassinosteroid-Insensitive2 (BIN2) that phosphorylates and negatively regulates BES1/BZR1. Since their initial discoveries, further studies have revealed a plethora of biochemical and cellular mechanisms that regulate their protein abundance, subcellular localizations, and signaling activities. In this review, we provide a critical analysis of the current literature concerning activation, inactivation, and other regulatory mechanisms of three key kinases of the BR signaling cascade, BRI1, BAK1, and BIN2, and discuss some unresolved controversies and outstanding questions that require further investigation.
Project description:Brassinosteroids (BRs) regulate a variety of physiological processes in plants via extensive crosstalk with diverse biological signaling networks. Although BRs are known to reciprocally regulate circadian oscillation, the molecular mechanism underlying BR-mediated regulation of circadian clock remains unknown. Here, we demonstrate that the BR-activated transcription factor bri1-EMS-SUPPRESSOR 1 (BES1) integrates BR signaling into the circadian network in Arabidopsis. BES1 repressed expression of CIRCADIAN CLOCK-ASSOCIATED 1 (CCA1) and LATE ELONGATED HYPOCOTYL (LHY) at night by binding to their promoters, together with TOPLESS (TPL). The repression of CCA1 and LHY by BR treatment, which occurred during the night, was compromised in bes1-ko and tpl-8 mutants. Consistently, long-term treatment with BR shortened the circadian period, and BR-induced rhythmic shortening was impaired in bes1-ko and tpl-8 single mutants and in the cca1-1lhy-21 double mutant. Overall, BR signaling is conveyed to the circadian oscillator via the BES1/TPL-CCA1/LHY module, contributing to gating diurnal BR responses in plants.
Project description:Brassinosteroid (BR) hormones are important regulators of plant growth and development. Recent studies revealed the cell-specific role of BRs in vascular and stem cell development by the action of cell-specific BR receptor complexes and downstream signaling components in Arabidopsis thaliana Despite the importance of spatiotemporal regulation of hormone signaling in the control of plant vascular development, the mechanisms that confer cellular specificity to BR receptors within the vascular cells are not yet understood. The present work shows that BRI1-like receptor genes 1 and 3 (BRL1 and BRL3) are differently regulated by BRs. By using promoter deletion constructs of BRL1 and BRL3 fused to GFP/GUS (green fluorescent protein/?-glucuronidase) reporters in Arabidopsis, analysis of their cell-specific expression and regulation by BRs in the root apex has been carried out. We found that BRL3 expression is finely modulated by BRs in different root cell types, whereas the location of BRL1 appears to be independent of this hormone. Physiological and genetic analysis show a BR-dependent expression of BRL3 in the root meristem. In particular, BRL3 expression requires active BES1, a central transcriptional effector within the BRI1 pathway. ChIP analysis showed that BES1 directly binds to the BRRE present in the BRL3 promoter region, modulating its transcription in different subsets of cells of the root apex. Overall our study reveals the existence of a cell-specific negative feedback loop from BRI1-mediated BES1 transcription factor to BRL3 in phloem cells, while contributing to a general understanding of the spatial control of steroid signaling in plant development.
Project description:Plant steroid hormones, brassinosteroids (BRs), are of great importance for plant growth and development. BRs signal through a cell surface receptor kinase, BRI1, and a GSK3-like kinase, BIN2, to regulate the BES1/BZR1 family of transcription factors, which directly bind to target gene promoters to activate or repress gene expression and mediate BR responses. To understand how BES1 regulates target gene expression, we identified two BES1-interacting proteins, ELF6 (early flowering 6) and its homolog REF6 (relative of early flowering 6), both of which are Jumonji N/C (JmjN/C) domain-containing proteins and were previously found to regulate flowering time. The interactions between BES1 and ELF6/REF6 were confirmed by GST pull-down and BiFC (bimolecular fluorescence complementation) experiments. Mutations in ELF6 or REF6 genes in Arabidopsis lead to BR-related phenotypes, including impaired cell elongation and reduced expression of BR target genes. Chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP) experiments indicated that histone 3 lysine 9 (H3K9) methylation status was changed in elf6 and ref6 mutants, consistent with recent findings that many Jmj proteins are histone demethylases. Our results demonstrate that BES1 recruits other transcriptional regulators such as ELF6 and REF6 to regulate target gene expression and coordinate BR responses with other developmental processes such as control of flowering time. Jmj domain-containing histone demethylases are involved in gene expression in many developmental processes and diseases, but how these proteins affect specific pathways is not well understood. Thus, our study establishes an important mechanism by which Jmj domain proteins modulate specific gene expression by interacting with pathway-specific transcription factors such as BES1.