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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2006 Jan 31;103(5):1621-6. Epub 2006 Jan 24.

Armadillo-related proteins promote lateral root development in Arabidopsis.

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School of Biosciences, University of Birmingham, Edgbaston, Birmingham B15 2TT, United Kingdom.


Armadillo/beta-catenin and related proteins have important functions during animal and Dictyostelium development, regulating cell differentiation, proliferation, and adhesion. Armadillo-repeat-containing proteins also exist in plants, but the majority have unknown roles. The Arabidopsis genes that show greatest sequence homology to Armadillo/beta-catenin are called ARABIDILLO-1 and -2. Here, we demonstrate that ARABIDILLO-1 and -2 promote lateral root development. arabidillo-1/-2 mutants form fewer lateral roots, and ARABIDILLO-1-overexpressing lines produce more lateral roots than wild-type seedlings. ARABIDILLO-yellow fluorescent protein fusions are nuclear. ARABIDILLO proteins contain an F-box motif, and thus may target other proteins for proteasomal degradation. Overexpression of ARABIDILLO-1 protein fragments, including F-box fragments, in wild-type seedlings reduces lateral root formation to the level of the arabidillo-1/-2 mutant. We have shown that plant beta-catenin-related proteins regulate root development. We suggest that ARABIDILLO proteins may target an inhibitor of lateral root development for degradation and propose that Arabidopsis beta-catenin-related proteins define a previously uncharacterized pathway that promotes root branching.

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