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Plant Physiol. 2003 Nov;133(3):1360-6. Epub 2003 Oct 9.

PRT1 of Arabidopsis is a ubiquitin protein ligase of the plant N-end rule pathway with specificity for aromatic amino-terminal residues.

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  • 1Institute of Botany, University of Vienna, Rennweg 14, A-1030 Vienna, Austria.


The gene PRT1 of Arabidopsis, encoding a 45-kD protein with two RING finger domains, is essential for the degradation of F-dihydrofolate reductase, a model substrate of the N-end rule pathway of protein degradation. We have determined the function of PRT1 by expression in yeast (Saccharomyces cerevisiae). PRT1 can act as a ubiquitin protein ligase in the heterologous host. The identified substrates of PRT1 have an aromatic residue at their amino-terminus, indicating that PRT1 mediates degradation of N-end rule substrates with aromatic termini but not of those with aliphatic or basic amino-termini. Expression of model substrates in mutant and wild-type plants confirmed this substrate specificity. A ligase activity exclusively devoted to aromatic amino-termini of the N-end rule pathway is apparently unique to plants. The results presented also imply that other known substrates of the plant N-end rule pathway are ubiquitylated by one or more different ubiquitin protein ligases.

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