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Plant J. 2012 Jun;70(6):1033-42. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-313X.2012.04943.x. Epub 2012 Mar 31.

Elements proximal to and within the transmembrane domain mediate the organelle-to-organelle movement of bZIP28 under ER stress conditions.

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Plant Sciences Institute, Iowa State University, Ames, IA 50011, USA.


Arabidopsis bZIP28, an ER membrane-associated transcription factor, is activated in response to conditions that induce ER stress-adverse environmental conditions or exposure to ER stress agents such as tunicamycin and dithiothreitol. Upon stress treatment, bZIP28 exits the ER and moves to the Golgi, where it is proteolytically processed, releasing its transcriptional component, which relocates to the nucleus. In this study, we tracked the movement of GFP-tagged bZIP28 in an effort to understand its mobilization from the ER and release from the Golgi. We identified a small region in bZIP28 that is rich in dibasic amino acids and proximal to the transmembrane domain required for its movement from the ER. In response to ER stress, bZIP28 showed enhanced interaction with Sar1 and Sec12, components of the COPII machinery. We demonstrated that the dibasic amino acid-rich region in bZIP28 is involved in the interaction with Sar1. Upon migration to the Golgi, bZIP28 is proteolytically processed by proteases S1P and S2P. We found a putative helix-breaking residue in the transmembrane domain of bZIP28 to be crucial for its processing and liberation from Golgi bodies. Thus, in response to stress, bZIP28 moves from organelle to organelle by interaction of critical elements in the molecule with the transport and/or proteolytic machinery resident in the various organelles.

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