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Plant Physiol Biochem. 2014 Apr;77:7-14. doi: 10.1016/j.plaphy.2014.01.010. Epub 2014 Jan 25.

Heterologous expression of the gourd E3 ubiquitin ligase gene LsRZF1 compromises the drought stress tolerance in Arabidopsis thaliana.

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Department of Plant Biotechnology, Chonnam National University, Gwangju 500-757, Republic of Korea.
Department of Agronomy, Gyeongsang National University, Jinju 660-701, Republic of Korea.
Department of Plant Biotechnology, Chonnam National University, Gwangju 500-757, Republic of Korea. Electronic address:


Protein ubiquitination is one of the major regulatory processes used by eukaryotic cells. The ubiquitin E3 ligase acts as a main determinant of substrate specificity. However, the precise roles of E3 ligase in plants to drought stress are poorly understood. In this study, a gourd family (Lagenaria siceraria) ortholog of Arabidopsis thaliana RING Zinc Finger 1 (AtRZF1) gene, designated LsRZF1, was identified and characterized. LsRZF1 was reduced by abscisic acid (ABA), osmotic stress, and drought conditions. Compared to wild type, transgenic Arabidopsis plants ectopic expressing LsRZF1 were hypersensitive to ABA and osmotic stress during early seedling development, indicating that LsRZF1 negatively regulates drought-mediated control of early seedling development. Moreover, the ectopic expression of the LsRZF1 gene was very influential in drought sensitive parameters including proline content, water loss, and the expression of dehydration stress-related genes. Furthermore, ubiquitin E3 ligase activity and genetic data indicate that AtRZF1 and LsRZF1 function in similar pathway to control proline metabolism in Arabidopsis under drought condition. Together, these results suggest that the E3 ligase LsRZF1 is an important regulator of water deficit stress during early seedling development.


Abscisic acid; Dehydration; E3 ubiquitin ligase; Gourd family; LsRZF1; RING-H2 zinc finger protein

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