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Plant J. 2009 Feb;57(4):606-14. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-313X.2008.03711.x. Epub 2008 Oct 10.

Regulation of ACS protein stability by cytokinin and brassinosteroid.

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Department of Biology, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC 27599-3280, USA.


A major question in plant biology is how phytohormone pathways interact. Here, we explore the mechanism by which cytokinins and brassinosteroids affect ethylene biosynthesis. Ethylene biosynthesis is regulated in response to a wide variety of endogenous and exogenous signals, including the levels of other phytohormones. Cytokinins act by increasing the stability of a subset of ACC synthases, which catalyze the generally rate-limiting step in ethylene biosynthesis. The induction of ethylene by cytokinin requires the canonical cytokinin two-component response pathway, including histidine kinases, histidine phosphotransfer proteins and response regulators. The cytokinin-induced myc-ACS5 stabilization occurs rapidly (<60 min), consistent with a primary output of this two-component signaling pathway. We examined the mechanism by which another phytohormone, brassinosteroid, elevates ethylene biosynthesis in etiolated seedlings. Similar to cytokinin, brassinosteroid acts post-transcriptionally by increasing the stability of ACS5 protein, and its effects on ACS5 were additive with those of cytokinin. These data suggest that ACS is regulated by phytohormones through regulatory inputs that probably act together to continuously adjust ethylene biosynthesis in various tissues and in response to various environmental conditions.

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