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Gene. 2012 Mar 10;495(2):146-53. doi: 10.1016/j.gene.2011.12.028. Epub 2011 Dec 29.

ZmRFP1, the putative ortholog of SDIR1, encodes a RING-H2 E3 ubiquitin ligase and responds to drought stress in an ABA-dependent manner in maize.

Author information

1
College of life science, Henan Agricultural University, Zhengzhou 450002, PR China. xiazl08@163.com

Abstract

Drought is one of the most important limiting factors in crop production. To identify genes required for the drought stress response in the cereal crop maize, a gene coding for RING-finger protein (ZmRFP1), which is highly responsive to PEG-induced drought stress, was isolated by mRNA differential display and rapid amplification of cDNA ends. The ZmRFP1 encodes a protein of 280 amino acids and contains a single C(3)H(2)C(3)-type RING motif in its C-terminal region. ZmRFP1 is an ortholog of Arabidopsis SDIR1 (salt- and drought-induced RING finger 1) (66% identity to AtSDIR1).The recombinant ZmRFP1 protein purified from Escherichia coli exhibited an in vitro E3 ubiquitin ligase activity. Real-time PCR analysis indicates that the transcript levels of ZmRFP1 were higher in aerial tissues including stems, leaves, tassels and immature ears, and were markedly up-regulated by drought stress, and exogenous ABA, but not by salt, heat and cold stresses. Transient expression of the green fluorescent protein (GFP)-ZmRFP1 fusion protein in onion cells revealed a plasma membrane localization of the protein. Further analysis of ZmRFP1 transcripts between an ABA-deficient transposon mutant viviparous14 (vp14) and its isogenic wild-type line W22 showed that ZmRFP1 transcript levels were induced significantly in the wild-type line under drought stress, but not in the mutant line VP14. These results indicate that ZmRFP1 responds to drought stress in an ABA-dependent way and is likely to function in the ubiquitin conjunction pathway. The ZmRFP1 might serve as a candidate gene in genetic improvement for drought tolerance engineering in cereal crop plants.

PMID:
22245611
DOI:
10.1016/j.gene.2011.12.028
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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