Solution structure of the PsIAA4 oligomerization domain reveals interaction modes for transcription factors in early auxin response.
ABSTRACT: The plant hormone auxin activates primary response genes by facilitating proteolytic removal of auxin/indole-3-acetic acid (AUX/IAA)-inducible repressors, which directly bind to transcriptional auxin response factors (ARF). Most AUX/IAA and ARF proteins share highly conserved C-termini mediating homotypic and heterotypic interactions within and between both protein families. The high-resolution NMR structure of C-terminal domains III and IV of the AUX/IAA protein PsIAA4 from pea (Pisum sativum) revealed a globular ubiquitin-like β-grasp fold with homologies to the Phox and Bem1p (PB1) domain. The PB1 domain of wild-type PsIAA4 features two distinct surface patches of oppositely charged amino acid residues, mediating front-to-back multimerization via electrostatic interactions. Mutations of conserved basic or acidic residues on either face suppressed PsIAA4 PB1 homo-oligomerization in vitro and confirmed directional interaction of full-length PsIAA4 in vivo (yeast two-hybrid system). Mixing of oppositely mutated PsIAA4 PB1 monomers enabled NMR mapping of the negatively charged interface of the reconstituted PsIAA4 PB1 homodimer variant, whose stoichiometry (1:1) and equilibrium binding constant (KD ∼ 6.4 μM) were determined by isothermal titration calorimetry. In silico protein-protein docking studies based on NMR and yeast interaction data derived a model of the PsIAA4 PB1 homodimer, which is comparable with other PB1 domain dimers, but indicated considerable differences between the homodimeric interfaces of AUX/IAA and ARF PB1 domains. Our study provides an impetus for elucidating the molecular determinants that confer specificity to complex protein-protein interaction circuits between members of the two central families of transcription factors important to the regulation of auxin-responsive gene expression.
Project description:In plants, the AUXIN RESPONSE FACTOR (ARF) transcription factor family regulates gene expression in response to auxin. In the absence of auxin, ARF transcription factors are repressed by interaction with AUXIN/INDOLE 3-ACETIC ACID (Aux/IAA) proteins. Although the C termini of ARF and Aux/IAA proteins facilitate their homo- and heterooligomerization, the molecular basis for this interaction remained undefined. The crystal structure of the C-terminal interaction domain of Arabidopsis ARF7 reveals a Phox and Bem1p (PB1) domain that provides both positive and negative electrostatic interfaces for directional protein interaction. Mutation of interface residues in the ARF7 PB1 domain yields monomeric protein and abolishes interaction with both itself and IAA17. Expression of a stabilized Aux/IAA protein (i.e., IAA16) bearing PB1 mutations in Arabidopsis suggests a multimerization requirement for ARF protein repression, leading to a refined auxin-signaling model.
Project description:Auxin response factors (ARFs), together with auxin/indole acetic acid proteins (Aux/IAAs), are transcription factors that play key roles in regulating auxin-responsive transcription in plants. Current models for auxin signaling predict that auxin response is dependent on ARF-Aux/IAA interactions mediated by the related protein-protein interaction domain (i.e., referred to as the CTD) found in the ARF and Aux/IAA C-terminal regions. When auxin concentrations in a cell are low, ARF activators residing on the promoters of auxin response genes are thought to be inactive because of the association with dominant Aux/IAA repressors. When auxin concentrations are elevated, the Aux/IAA repressors are recruited to auxin receptors and degraded via the ubiquitin-proteasome pathway. Destruction of the Aux/IAA repressors allows the ARF activators to function in derepressing/activating auxin response genes. While this auxin signaling pathway is simple and attractive, it is unclear whether auxin-regulated gene expression is solely dependent on ARF-Aux/IAA interactions. Here we show that auxin can affect the expression of auxin response genes in a manner that is independent of the ARF activator CTD.
Project description:The phytohormone auxin regulates nearly all aspects of plant growth and development. Based on the current model in Arabidopsis thaliana, Auxin/indole-3-acetic acid (Aux/IAA) proteins repress auxin-inducible genes by inhibiting auxin response transcription factors (ARFs). Experimental evidence suggests that heterodimerization between Aux/IAA and ARF proteins are related to their unique biological functions. The objective of this study was to generate the Aux/IAA-ARF protein-protein interaction map using full length sequences and locate the interacting protein pairs to specific gene co-expression networks in order to define tissue-specific responses of the Aux/IAA-ARF interactome. Pairwise interactions between 19 ARFs and 29 Aux/IAAs resulted in the identification of 213 specific interactions of which 79 interactions were previously unknown. The incorporation of co-expression profiles with protein-protein interaction data revealed a strong correlation of gene co-expression for 70% of the ARF-Aux/IAA interacting pairs in at least one tissue/organ, indicative of the biological significance of these interactions. Importantly, ARF4-8 and 19, which were found to interact with almost all Aux-Aux/IAA showed broad co-expression relationships with Aux/IAA genes, thus, formed the central hubs of the co-expression network. Our analyses provide new insights into the biological significance of ARF-Aux/IAA associations in the morphogenesis and development of various plant tissues and organs.
Project description:The AUXIN RESPONSE FACTORs (ARFs) and the Aux/IAA proteins regulate various auxin responses through auxin perception mediated by the F-box proteins TIR1/AFBs. ARFs are transcription factors that modulate expression of auxin response genes and are negatively regulated by the Aux/IAA proteins. To gain insight into the regulatory mechanisms of Aux/IAA-ARF action at the genome level, the transcriptome regulated downstream of iaa1, a stabilized IAA1 mutant protein, was identified using dexamethasone (DEX)-controlled nuclear translocation of iaa1 during the auxin response. The expression of the iaa1-regulated auxin-responsive genes selected from microarray data was analysed with RNA-gel blot analysis and it was shown that auxin-regulated expression of these genes was significantly inhibited by DEX treatment. While cycloheximide-inducible expression of a majority of these genes was also DEX-suppressible, expression of some genes could not be suppressed by treatment with DEX. Expression analysis in a variety of arf mutant backgrounds suggested that all iaa1-regulated auxin-response genes examined are controlled by ARFs to different extents and that the same ARF protein can regulate the expression of these genes in response to auxin in a positive or a negative manner. However, arf mutations did not affect auxin-mediated down-regulation, indicating that ARFs might not play a critical role in down-regulation. The decrease in auxin-responsive gene expression in arf7 arf19 mutants was more severe than that of tir1/afb quadruple mutants. These results show the diversity and complexity of mechanisms of Aux/IAA-ARF- and auxin-regulated gene expression. These data also provide the opportunity for functional analysis of genes mediating the auxin-response downstream of Aux/IAA-ARFs.
Project description:Auxin-regulated transcription pivots on the interaction between the AUXIN/INDOLE-3-ACETIC ACID (Aux/IAA) repressor proteins and the AUXIN RESPONSE FACTOR (ARF) transcription factors. Recent structural analyses of ARFs and Aux/IAAs have raised questions about the functional complexes driving auxin transcriptional responses. To parse the nature and significance of ARF-DNA and ARF-Aux/IAA interactions, we analyzed structure-guided variants of synthetic auxin response circuits in the budding yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae Our analysis revealed that promoter architecture could specify ARF activity and that ARF19 required dimerization at two distinct domains for full transcriptional activation. In addition, monomeric Aux/IAAs were able to repress ARF activity in both yeast and plants. This systematic, quantitative structure-function analysis identified a minimal complex-comprising a single Aux/IAA repressing a pair of dimerized ARFs-sufficient for auxin-induced transcription.
Project description:The coordinated action of the auxin-sensitive Aux/IAA transcriptional repressors and ARF transcription factors produces complex gene-regulatory networks in plants. Despite their importance, our knowledge of these two protein families is largely based on analysis of stabilized forms of the Aux/IAAs, and studies of a subgroup of ARFs that function as transcriptional activators. To understand how auxin regulates gene expression we generated a Physcomitrella patens line that completely lacks Aux/IAAs. Loss of the repressors causes massive changes in transcription with misregulation of over a third of the annotated genes. Further, we find that the aux/iaa mutant is blind to auxin indicating that auxin regulation of transcription occurs exclusively through Aux/IAA function. We used the aux/iaa mutant as a simplified platform for studies of ARF function and demonstrate that repressing ARFs regulate auxin-induced genes and fine-tune their expression. Further the repressing ARFs coordinate gene induction jointly with activating ARFs and the Aux/IAAs.
Project description:BACKGROUND: Auxin/Indole-3-Acetic Acid (Aux/IAA) and Auxin Response Factor (ARF) transcription factors are key regulators of auxin responses in plants. We identified the suites of genes in the two gene families in Populus and performed comparative genomic analysis with Arabidopsis and rice. RESULTS: A total of 35 Aux/IAA and 39 ARF genes were identified in the Populus genome. Comparative phylogenetic analysis revealed that several Aux/IAA and ARF subgroups have differentially expanded or contracted between the two dicotyledonous plants. Activator ARF genes were found to be two fold-overrepresented in the Populus genome. PoptrIAA and PoptrARF gene families appear to have expanded due to high segmental and low tandem duplication events. Furthermore, expression studies showed that genes in the expanded PoptrIAA3 subgroup display differential expression. CONCLUSION: The present study examines the extent of conservation and divergence in the structure and evolution of Populus Aux/IAA and ARF gene families with respect to Arabidopsis and rice. The gene-family analysis reported here will be useful in conducting future functional genomics studies to understand how the molecular roles of these large gene families translate into a diversity of biologically meaningful auxin effects.
Project description:Auxin is the central hormone that regulates plant growth and organ development. Transcriptional regulation by auxin is mediated by the auxin response factor (ARF) and the repressor, AUX/IAA. Aux/IAA associates with ARF via domain III-IV for transcriptional repression that is reversed by auxin-induced Aux/IAA degradation. It has been known that Aux/IAA and ARF form homo- and hetero-oligomers for the transcriptional regulation, but what determines their association states is poorly understood. Here we report, to our knowledge, the first solution structure of domain III-IV of Aux/IAA17 (IAA17), and characterize molecular interactions underlying the homotypic and heterotypic oligomerization. The structure exhibits a compact β-grasp fold with a highly dynamic insert helix that is unique in Aux/IAA family proteins. IAA17 associates to form a heterogeneous ensemble of front-to-back oligomers in a concentration-dependent manner. IAA17 and ARF5 associate to form homo- or hetero-oligomers using a common scaffold and binding interfaces, but their affinities vary significantly. The equilibrium dissociation constants (KD) for homo-oligomerization are 6.6 μM and 0.87 μM for IAA17 and ARF5, respectively, whereas hetero-oligomerization reveals a ∼ 10- to ∼ 100-fold greater affinity (KD = 73 nM). Thus, individual homo-oligomers of IAA17 and ARF5 spontaneously exchange their subunits to form alternating hetero-oligomers for transcriptional repression. Oligomerization is mainly driven by electrostatic interactions, so that charge complementarity at the interface determines the binding affinity. Variable binding affinity by surface charge modulation may effectively regulate the complex interaction network between Aux/IAA and ARF family proteins required for the transcriptional control of auxin-response genes.
Project description:Auxin is well known to regulate growth and development processes. Auxin early response genes serve as a critical component of auxin signaling and mediate auxin regulation of diverse physiological processes. In the present study, a genome-wide identification and comprehensive analysis of auxin early response genes were conducted in upland cotton. A total of 71 auxin response factor (ARF), 86 Auxin/Indole-3-Acetic Acid (Aux/IAA), 63 Gretchen Hagen3 (GH3), and 194 small auxin upregulated RNA (SAUR) genes were identified in upland cotton, respectively. Phylogenetic analysis revealed that the ARF, GH3, and SAUR families were likely subject to extensive evolutionary divergence between Arabidopsis and upland cotton, while the Aux/IAA family was evolutionary conserved. Expression profiles showed that the ARF, Aux/IAA, GH3, and SAUR family genes were extensively involved in embryogenic competence acquisition of upland cotton callus. The Aux/IAA family genes generally showed a higher expression level in the non-embryogenic callus (NEC) of highly embryogenic cultivar CCRI24 than that of recalcitrant cultivar CCRI12, which may be conducive to initializing the embryogenic transformation. Auxin early response genes were tightly co-expressed with most of the known somatic embryogenesis (SE) related genes, indicating that these genes may regulate upland cotton SE by interacting with auxin early response genes.
Project description:The current model of auxin-inducible transcription describes numerous regulatory interactions between AUXIN RESPONSE FACTORs (ARFs) and Aux/IAAs. However, specific relationships between individual members of these families in planta remain largely uncharacterized. Using a systems biology approach, the entire suite of Aux/IAA genes directly regulated by the developmentally pivotal ARF MONOPTEROS (MP) was recently determined for multiple Arabidopsis tissue types. This study showed that MP directly targets distinct subclades of Aux/IAAs, revealing potential regulatory modules of redundantly acting Aux/IAAs involved in MP-dependent processes. Further, functional analyses indicated that the protein products of these targeted Aux/IAAs negatively feedback on MP. Thus, comprehensive identification of Aux/IAAs targeted by individual ARFs will generate biologically meaningful networks of ARF-Aux/IAA regulatory modules controlling distinct plant pathways.