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Plant Signal Behav. 2012 Mar;7(3):325-8. doi: 10.4161/psb.19283. Epub 2012 Mar 1.

TOPLESS co-repressor interactions and their evolutionary conservation in plants.

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Centre for Plant Sciences, Faculty of Biological Sciences, University of Leeds, Leeds, UK.


Large-scale protein-protein interaction studies recently demonstrated that the Arabidopsis TPL/TPR family of transcriptional co-repressors is involved in a broad range of developmental processes. TPL/TPRs predominantly interact with transcription factors that contain repression domain (RD) sequences. Interestingly, RDs reported in the literature are quite diverse in sequence, yet TPL/TPRs interact with proteins containing all of the known motifs. These data lead us to conclude that the TPL/TPRs act as general repressors of gene transcription in plants. To investigate this further, we examined interactions between TPL/TPR proteins encoded by the moss Physcomitrella patens genome and components of the auxin signaling pathway. As in Arabidopsis, moss TPL proteins interact with AUX/IAA and ARF proteins, suggesting that they act in both forms of ARF-mediated transcriptional repression. These data suggest that the involvement of TPL in auxin signaling has been conserved across evolution, since mosses and angiosperms diverged approximately 450 million years ago.

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