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Plant Cell. 2007 Sep;19(9):2952-66. Epub 2007 Sep 28.

The Arabidopsis E3 SUMO ligase SIZ1 regulates plant growth and drought responses.

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  • 1Laboratory of Plant Molecular Biology, The Rockefeller University, New York, NY 10021, USA.

Abstract

Posttranslational modifications of proteins by small ubiquitin-like modifiers (SUMOs) regulate protein degradation and localization, protein-protein interaction, and transcriptional activity. SUMO E3 ligase functions are executed by SIZ1/SIZ2 and Mms21 in yeast, the PIAS family members RanBP2, and Pc2 in human. The Arabidopsis thaliana genome contains only one gene, SIZ1, that is orthologous to the yeast SIZ1/SIZ2. Here, we show that Arabidopsis SIZ1 is expressed in all plant tissues. Compared with the wild type, the null mutant siz1-3 is smaller in stature because of reduced expression of genes involved in brassinosteroid biosynthesis and signaling. Drought stress induces the accumulation of SUMO-protein conjugates, which is in part dependent on SIZ1 but not on abscisic acid (ABA). Mutant plants of siz1-3 have significantly lower tolerance to drought stress. A genome-wide expression analysis identified approximately 1700 Arabidopsis genes that are induced by drought, with SIZ1 mediating the expression of 300 of them by a pathway independent of DREB2A and ABA. SIZ1-dependent, drought-responsive genes include those encoding enzymes of the anthocyanin synthesis pathway and jasmonate response. From these results, we conclude that SIZ1 regulates Arabidopsis growth and that this SUMO E3 ligase plays a role in drought stress response likely through the regulation of gene expression.

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