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Genetics. 2003 Jan; 163(1): 311–319.
PMCID: PMC1462424

Unexpected complexity of poly(A)-binding protein gene families in flowering plants: three conserved lineages that are at least 200 million years old and possible auto- and cross-regulation.


Eukaryotic poly(A)-binding protein (PABP) is a ubiquitous, essential factor involved in mRNA biogenesis, translation, and turnover. Most eukaryotes examined have only one or a few PABPs. In contrast, eight expressed PABP genes are present in Arabidopsis thaliana. These genes fall into three distinct classes, based on highly concordant results of (i) phylogenetic analysis of the amino acid sequences of the encoded proteins, (ii) analysis of the intron number and placement, and (iii) surveys of gene expression patterns. Representatives of each of the three classes also exist in the rice genome, suggesting that the diversification of the plant PABP genes has occurred prior to the split of monocots and dicots >or=200 MYA. Experiments with the recombinant PAB3 protein suggest the possibility of a negative feedback regulation, as well as of cross-regulation between the Arabidopsis PABPs that belong to different classes but are simultaneously expressed in the same cell type. Such a high complexity of the plant PABPs might enable a very fine regulation of organismal growth and development at the post-transcriptional level, compared with PABPs of other eukaryotes.

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Selected References

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