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Sci Rep. 2013 Oct 9;3:2866. doi: 10.1038/srep02866.

The RNA-binding protein FPA regulates flg22-triggered defense responses and transcription factor activity by alternative polyadenylation.

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1] RIKEN Plant Science Center, Tsurumi-ku, Yokohama, 230-0045, Japan [2] Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization Plant Industry, Queensland Bioscience Precinct, St. Lucia, Queensland 4067, Australia.


RNA-binding proteins (RBPs) play an important role in plant host-microbe interactions. In this study, we show that the plant RBP known as FPA, which regulates 3'-end mRNA polyadenylation, negatively regulates basal resistance to bacterial pathogen Pseudomonas syringae in Arabidopsis. A custom microarray analysis reveals that flg22, a peptide derived from bacterial flagellins, induces expression of alternatively polyadenylated isoforms of mRNA encoding the defence-related transcriptional repressor ETHYLENE RESPONSE FACTOR 4 (ERF4), which is regulated by FPA. Flg22 induces expression of a novel isoform of ERF4 that lacks the ERF-associated amphiphilic repression (EAR) motif, while FPA inhibits this induction. The EAR-lacking isoform of ERF4 acts as a transcriptional activator in vivo and suppresses the flg22-dependent reactive oxygen species burst. We propose that FPA controls use of proximal polyadenylation sites of ERF4, which quantitatively limit the defence response output.

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