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Cell. 2003 Dec 12;115(6):679-89.

EIN3-dependent regulation of plant ethylene hormone signaling by two arabidopsis F box proteins: EBF1 and EBF2.

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Institut de Biologie Moléculaire des Plantes du CNRS, 12 rue du Général Zimmer, 67084 Cédex, Strasbourg, France.


The plant hormone ethylene regulates a wide range of developmental processes and the response of plants to stress and pathogens. Genetic studies in Arabidopsis led to a partial elucidation of the mechanisms of ethylene action. Ethylene signal transduction initiates with ethylene binding at a family of ethylene receptors and terminates in a transcription cascade involving the EIN3/EIL and ERF families of plant-specific transcription factors. Here, we identify two Arabidopsis F box proteins called EBF1 and EBF2 that interact physically with EIN3/EIL transcription factors. EBF1 overexpression results in plants insensitive to ethylene. In contrast, plants carrying the ebf1 and ebf2 mutations display a constitutive ethylene response and accumulate the EIN3 protein in the absence of the hormone. Our work places EBF1 and EBF2 within the genetic framework of the ethylene-response pathway and supports a model in which ethylene action depends on EIN3 protein stabilization.

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