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Plant Cell. 2004 Oct;16(10):2795-808. Epub 2004 Sep 17.

Spotted leaf11, a negative regulator of plant cell death and defense, encodes a U-box/armadillo repeat protein endowed with E3 ubiquitin ligase activity.

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  • 1Department of Plant Pathology, Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio 43210, USA.


The rice (Oryza sativa) spotted leaf11 (spl11) mutant was identified from an ethyl methanesulfonate-mutagenized indica cultivar IR68 population and was previously shown to display a spontaneous cell death phenotype and enhanced resistance to rice fungal and bacterial pathogens. Here, we have isolated Spl11 via a map-based cloning strategy. The isolation of the Spl11 gene was facilitated by the identification of three additional spl11 alleles from an IR64 mutant collection. The predicted SPL11 protein contains both a U-box domain and an armadillo (ARM) repeat domain, which were demonstrated in yeast and mammalian systems to be involved in ubiquitination and protein-protein interactions, respectively. Amino acid sequence comparison indicated that the similarity between SPL11 and other plant U-box-ARM proteins is mostly restricted to the U-box and ARM repeat regions. A single base substitution was detected in spl11, which results in a premature stop codon in the SPL11 protein. Expression analysis indicated that Spl11 is induced in both incompatible and compatible rice-blast interactions. In vitro ubiquitination assay indicated that the SPL11 protein possesses E3 ubiquitin ligase activity that is dependent on an intact U-box domain, suggesting a role of the ubiquitination system in the control of plant cell death and defense.

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