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Plant J. 2009 Nov;60(4):666-78. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-313X.2009.03992.x. Epub 2009 Aug 8.

The Arabidopsis SUMO E3 ligase AtMMS21, a homologue of NSE2/MMS21, regulates cell proliferation in the root.

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Guangdong Key Lab of Biotechnology for Plant Development, College of Life Science, South China Normal University, Guangzhou 510631, China.


hMMS21 is a SUMO E3 ligase required for the prevention of DNA damage-induced apoptosis, and acts by facilitating DNA repair in human cells. The Arabidopsis genome contains a putative MMS21 homologue capable of interacting with the SUMO E2 conjugating enzyme AtSCE1a, as indicated by a yeast two-hybrid screen and bimolecular fluorescence complementation experiments. In vitro and in vivo data demonstrated that AtMMS21 was a SUMO E3 ligase. We identified the Arabidopsis AtMMS21 null T-DNA insertion mutant mms21-1, which had a short-root phenotype, and affected cell proliferation in the apical root meristem, as indicated by impaired expression of the cell division marker CYCB1:GUS in mms21-1 roots. The mms21-1 roots had reduced responses to exogenous cytokinins, and decreased expression of the cytokinin-induced genes ARR3, ARR4, ARR5 and ARR7, compared with the wild type. Thus, our findings suggest that the AtMMS21 gene is involved in root development via cell-cycle regulation and cytokinin signalling.

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