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Mol Cell Biol. 2006 Dec;26(24):9533-43. Epub 2006 Oct 9.

A putative Arabidopsis nucleoporin, AtNUP160, is critical for RNA export and required for plant tolerance to cold stress.

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  • 1Institute for Integrative Genome Biology and Department of Botany and Plant Science, University of California, Riverside, CA 92521, USA.


To study the genetic control of plant responses to cold stress, Arabidopsis thaliana mutants were isolated by a screen for mutations that impair cold-induced transcription of the CBF3-LUC reporter gene. We report here the characterization and cloning of a mutated gene, atnup160-1, which causes reduced CBF3-LUC induction under cold stress. atnup160-1 mutant plants display altered cold-responsive gene expression and are sensitive to chilling stress and defective in acquired freezing tolerance. AtNUP160 was isolated through positional cloning and shown to encode a putative homolog of the animal nucleoporin Nup160. In addition to the impaired expression of CBF genes, microarray analysis revealed that a number of other genes important for plant cold tolerance were also affected in the mutants. The atnup160 mutants flower early and show retarded seedling growth, especially at low temperatures. AtNUP160 protein is localized at the nuclear rim, and poly(A)-mRNA in situ hybridization shows that mRNA export is defective in the atnup160-1 mutant plants. Our study suggests that Arabidopsis AtNUP160 is critical for the nucleocytoplasmic transport of mRNAs and that it plays important roles in plant growth and flowering time regulation and is required for cold stress tolerance.

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