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FEBS Lett. 2012 Sep 21;586(19):3242-8. doi: 10.1016/j.febslet.2012.06.044. Epub 2012 Jul 5.

miR395 is a general component of the sulfate assimilation regulatory network in Arabidopsis.

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John Innes Centre, Norwich Research Park, Norwich, UK.


In plants, microRNAs play an important role in many regulatory circuits, including responses to environmental cues such as nutrient limitations. One such microRNA is miR395, which is strongly up-regulated by sulfate deficiency and targets two components of the sulfate uptake and assimilation pathway. Here we show that miR395 levels are affected by treatments with metabolites regulating sulfate assimilation. The precursor of cysteine, O-acetylserine, which accumulates during sulfate deficiency, causes increase in miR395 accumulation. Feeding plants with cysteine, which inhibits sulfate uptake and assimilation, induces miR395 levels while buthionine sulfoximine, an inhibitor of glutathione synthesis, lowers miR395 expression. Thus, miR395 is an integral part of the regulatory network of sulfate assimilation.

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