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Plant Cell. 2010 Jun;22(6):1792-811. doi: 10.1105/tpc.110.074591. Epub 2010 Jun 4.

Arabidopsis RETINOBLASTOMA-RELATED is required for stem cell maintenance, cell differentiation, and lateral organ production.

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  • 1Department of Biology, Plant Biotechnology, ETH Zurich, 8092 Zurich, Switzerland.


Several genes involved in the regulation of postembryonic organ initiation and growth have been identified. However, it remains largely unclear how developmental cues connect to the cell cycle. RETINOBLASTOMA RELATED (RBR) is a plant homolog of the tumor suppressor Retinoblastoma (pRb), which is a key regulator of the cell cycle. Using inducible RNA interference (RNAi) against Arabidopsis thaliana RBR (RBRi), we reduced RBR expression levels at different stages of plant development. Conditional reduction or loss of RBR function disrupted cell division patterns, promoted context-dependent cell proliferation, and negatively influenced establishment of cell differentiation. Several lineages of toti- and pluripotent cells, including shoot apical meristem stem cells, meristemoid mother cells, and procambial cells, failed to produce appropriately differentiated cells. Meristem activity was altered, leading to a disruption of the CLAVATA-WUSCHEL feedback loop and inhibition of lateral organ formation. Release of RBR from RNAi downregulation restored meristem activity. Gene profiling analyses soon after RBRi induction revealed that a change in RBR homeostasis is perceived as a stress, even before genes regulated by RBR-E2F become deregulated. The results establish RBR as a key cell cycle regulator required for coordination of cell division, differentiation, and cell homeostasis.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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