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PLoS One. 2008 Jul 16;3(7):e2733. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0002733.

Differential interactions of the autonomous pathway RRM proteins and chromatin regulators in the silencing of Arabidopsis targets.

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Department of Cell and Developmental Biology, John Innes Centre, Norwich, United Kingdom.


We have recently shown that two proteins containing RRM-type RNA-binding domains, FCA and FPA, originally identified through their role in flowering time control in Arabidopsis, silence transposons and other repeated sequences in the Arabidopsis genome. In flowering control, FCA and FPA function in the autonomous pathway with conserved chromatin regulators, the histone demethylase FLD and the MSI1-homologue FVE, a conserved WD-repeat protein found in many chromatin complexes. Here, we investigate how the RRM proteins interact genetically with these chromatin regulators at a range of loci in the Arabidopsis genome. We also investigate their interaction with the DNA methylation pathway. In several cases the RRM protein activity at least partially required a chromatin regulator to effect silencing. However, the interactions of the autonomous pathway components differed at each target analysed, most likely determined by certain properties of the target loci and/or other silencing pathways. We speculate that the RNA-binding proteins FCA and FPA function as part of a transcriptome surveillance mechanism linking RNA recognition with chromatin silencing mechanisms.

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