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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2004 Oct 12;101(41):14978-83. Epub 2004 Oct 4.

Identification of inhibitors of auxin transcriptional activation by means of chemical genetics in Arabidopsis.

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  • 1Plant Gene Expression Center, 800 Buchanan Street, Albany, CA 94710, USA.

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  • Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2004 Dec 14;101(50):17565.


Auxin modulates diverse plant developmental pathways through direct transcriptional regulation and cooperative signaling with other plant hormones. Genetic and biochemical approaches have clarified several aspects of the auxin-regulated networks; however, the mechanisms of perception and subsequent signaling events remain largely uncharacterized. To elucidate unidentified intermediates, we have developed a high-throughput screen for identifying small molecule inhibitors of auxin signaling in Arabidopsis. Analysis of 10,000 compounds revealed several potent lead structures that abrogate transcription of an auxin-inducible reporter gene. Three compounds were found to interfere with auxin-regulated proteolysis of an auxin/indole-3-acetic acid transcription factor, and two impart phenotypes indicative of an altered auxin response, including impaired root development. Microarray analysis was used to demonstrate the mechanistic similarities of the two most potent molecules. This strategy promises to yield powerful tools for the discovery of unidentified components of the auxin-signaling networks and the study of auxin's participation in various stages of plant development.

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