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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2007 Aug 21;104(34):13839-44. Epub 2007 Aug 15.

Functions of OsBZR1 and 14-3-3 proteins in brassinosteroid signaling in rice.

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Key Laboratory of Photosynthesis and Environmental Molecular Biology, Institute of Botany, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100093, China.


Brassinosteroids (BR) are essential growth hormones found throughout the plant kingdom. BR bind to the receptor kinase BRI1 on the cell surface to activate a signal transduction pathway that regulates nuclear gene expression and plant growth. To understand the downstream BR signaling mechanism in rice, we studied the function of OsBZR1 using reverse genetic approaches and identified OsBZR1-interacting proteins. Suppressing OsBZR1 expression by RNAi resulted in dwarfism, erect leaves, reduced BR sensitivity, and altered BR-responsive gene expression in transgenic rice plants, demonstrating an essential role of OsBZR1 in BR responses in rice. Moreover, a yeast two-hybrid screen identified 14-3-3 proteins as OsBZR1-interacting proteins. Mutation of a putative 14-3-3-binding site of OsBZR1 abolished its interaction with the 14-3-3 proteins in yeast and in vivo. Such mutant OsBZR1 proteins suppressed the phenotypes of the Arabidopsis bri1-5 mutant and showed an increased nuclear distribution compared with the wild-type protein, suggesting that 14-3-3 proteins directly inhibit OsBZR1 function at least in part by reducing its nuclear localization. These results demonstrate a conserved function of OsBZR1 and an important role of 14-3-3 proteins in brassinosteroid signal transduction in rice.

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