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Elife. 2017 Sep 21;6. pii: e25012. doi: 10.7554/eLife.25012.

A quantitative hypermorphic CNGC allele confers ectopic calcium flux and impairs cellular development.

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Faculty of Biology, Institute of Genetics, Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich, Munich, Germany.
Molecular Plant Physiology, Department of Biology, University of Erlangen-Nürnberg, Erlangen, Germany.
Contributed equally


The coordinated control of Ca2+ signaling is essential for development in eukaryotes. Cyclic nucleotide-gated channel (CNGC) family members mediate Ca2+ influx from cellular stores in plants (Charpentier et al., 2016; Gao et al., 2016; Frietsch et al., 2007; Urquhart et al., 2007). Here, we report the unusual genetic behavior of a quantitative gain-of-function CNGC mutation (brush) in Lotus japonicus resulting in a leaky tetrameric channel. brush resides in a cluster of redundant CNGCs encoding subunits which resemble metazoan voltage-gated potassium (Kv1-Kv4) channels in assembly and gating properties. The recessive mongenic brush mutation impaired root development and infection by nitrogen-fixing rhizobia. The brush allele exhibited quantitative behavior since overexpression of the cluster subunits was required to suppress the brush phenotype. The results reveal a mechanism by which quantitative competition between channel subunits for tetramer assembly can impact the phenotype of the mutation carrier.


A. thaliana; E. coli; Ion channel; Lotus japonicus; S. cerevisiae; cell development; chromosomes; genes; genetics; plant biology; root development; tetrameric complex; xenopus

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