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Nat Commun. 2014 Aug 8;5:4601. doi: 10.1038/ncomms5601.

Nuclear factor Y-mediated H3K27me3 demethylation of the SOC1 locus orchestrates flowering responses of Arabidopsis.

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  • 1Key Laboratory of South China Agricultural Plant Molecular Analysis and Genetic Improvement, South China Botanical Garden, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Guangzhou, Guangdong 510650, China.
  • 2Department of Biological Sciences and Temasek Life Sciences Laboratory, National University of Singapore, Singapore 117543, Singapore.


Nuclear factor Y (NF-Y) is a conserved heterotrimeric transcription factor complex that binds to the CCAAT motifs within the promoter region of many genes. In plants, a large number of genes code for variants of each NF-YA, B or C subunit that can assemble in a combinatorial fashion. Here, we report the discovery of an Arabidopsis NF-Y complex that exerts epigenetic control over flowering time by integrating environmental and developmental signals. We show that NF-Y interacts with CONSTANS in the photoperiod pathway and DELLAs in the gibberellin pathway, to directly regulate the transcription of SOC1, a major floral pathway integrator. This NF-Y complex binds to a unique cis-element within the SOC1 promoter to modulate trimethylated H3K27 levels, partly through a H3K27 demethylase REF6. Our findings establish NF-Y complexes as critical mediators of epigenetic marks that regulate the response to environmental or intrinsic signals in plants.

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