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Plant J. 2015 Apr;82(1):81-92. doi: 10.1111/tpj.12797. Epub 2015 Mar 7.

The RING finger E3 ligase STRF1 is involved in membrane trafficking and modulates salt-stress response in Arabidopsis thaliana.

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State Key Laboratory of Plant Genomics, National Center for Plant Gene Research, Institute of Genetics and Developmental Biology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, No.1 West Beichen Road, Chaoyang District, Beijing, 100101, China; State Key Laboratory of Proteomics, Beijing Proteome Research Center, National Engineering Research Center for Protein Drugs, National Center for Protein Sciences, Beijing Institute of Radiation Medicine, Beijing, China.


Salt stress is a detrimental factor for plant growth and development. The response to salt stress has been shown to involve components in the intracellular trafficking system, as well as components of the ubiquitin-proteasome system (UPS). In this article, we have identified in Arabidopsis thaliana a little reported ubiquitin ligase involved in salt-stress response, which we named STRF1 (Salt Tolerance RING Finger 1). STRF1 is a member of RING-H2 finger proteins and we demonstrate that it has ubiquitin ligase activity in vitro. We also show that STRF1 localizes mainly at the plasma membrane and at the intracellular endosomes. strf1-1 loss-of-function mutant seedlings exhibit accelerated endocytosis in roots, and have altered expression of several genes involved in the membrane trafficking system. Moreover, protein trafficking inhibitor, brefeldin A (BFA), treatment has increased BFA bodies in strf1-1 mutant. This mutant also showed increased tolerance to salt, ionic and osmotic stresses, reduced accumulation of reactive oxygen species during salt stress, and increased expression of AtRbohD, which encodes a nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate (NADPH) oxidase involved in H2 O2 production. We conclude that STRF1 is a membrane trafficking-related ubiquitin ligase, which helps the plant to respond to salt stress by monitoring intracellular membrane trafficking and reactive oxygen species (ROS) production.


STRF1; membrane trafficking; salt stress; ubiquitination

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