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Plant Cell. 2007 Apr;19(4):1235-50. Epub 2007 Apr 27.

Heterotrimeric G protein gamma subunits provide functional selectivity in Gbetagamma dimer signaling in Arabidopsis.

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Plant Genetic Engineering Laboratory, Department of Botany, School of Integrative Biology, University of Queensland, Brisbane, Queensland 4072, Australia.


The Arabidopsis thaliana heterotrimeric G protein complex is encoded by single canonical Galpha and Gbeta subunit genes and two Ggamma subunit genes (AGG1 and AGG2), raising the possibility that the two potential G protein complexes mediate different cellular processes. Mutants with reduced expression of one or both Ggamma genes revealed specialized roles for each Ggamma subunit. AGG1-deficient mutants, but not AGG2-deficient mutants, showed impaired resistance against necrotrophic pathogens, reduced induction of the plant defensin gene PDF1.2, and decreased sensitivity to methyl jasmonate. By contrast, both AGG1- and AGG2-deficient mutants were hypersensitive to auxin-mediated induction of lateral roots, suggesting that Gbetagamma1 and Gbetagamma2 synergistically inhibit auxin-dependent lateral root initiation. However, the involvement of each Ggamma subunit in this root response differs, with Gbetagamma1 acting within the central cylinder, attenuating acropetally transported auxin signaling, while Gbetagamma2 affects the action of basipetal auxin and graviresponsiveness within the epidermis and/or cortex. This selectivity also operates in the hypocotyl. Selectivity in Gbetagamma signaling was also found in other known AGB1-mediated pathways. agg1 mutants were hypersensitive to glucose and the osmotic agent mannitol during seed germination, while agg2 mutants were only affected by glucose. We show that both Ggamma subunits form functional Gbetagamma dimers and that each provides functional selectivity to the plant heterotrimeric G proteins, revealing a mechanism underlying the complexity of G protein-mediated signaling in plants.

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