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Nat Commun. 2018 Dec 21;9(1):5438. doi: 10.1038/s41467-018-07875-7.

Oxygen-dependent proteolysis regulates the stability of angiosperm polycomb repressive complex 2 subunit VERNALIZATION 2.

Author information

1
School of Biosciences, University of Birmingham, Edgbaston, B15 2TT, UK. d.gibbs@bham.ac.uk.
2
School of Biosciences, University of Birmingham, Edgbaston, B15 2TT, UK.
3
Chemistry Research Laboratory, University of Oxford, 12 Mansfield Road, Oxford, OX1 3TA, UK.
4
Plant Ecophysiology, Institute of Environmental Biology, Faculty of Science, Utrecht University, Padualaan 8, Utrecht, 3584 CH, The Netherlands.
5
School of Biosciences, University of Nottingham, Loughborough, LE12 5RD, UK.
6
School of Biosciences, University of Nottingham, Loughborough, LE12 5RD, UK. michael.holdsworth@nottingham.ac.uk.

Abstract

The polycomb repressive complex 2 (PRC2) regulates epigenetic gene repression in eukaryotes. Mechanisms controlling its developmental specificity and signal-responsiveness are poorly understood. Here, we identify an oxygen-sensitive N-terminal (N-) degron in the plant PRC2 subunit VERNALIZATION(VRN) 2, a homolog of animal Su(z)12, that promotes its degradation via the N-end rule pathway. We provide evidence that this N-degron arose early during angiosperm evolution via gene duplication and N-terminal truncation, facilitating expansion of PRC2 function in flowering plants. We show that proteolysis via the N-end rule pathway prevents ectopic VRN2 accumulation, and that hypoxia and long-term cold exposure lead to increased VRN2 abundance, which we propose may be due to inhibition of VRN2 turnover via its N-degron. Furthermore, we identify an overlap in the transcriptional responses to hypoxia and prolonged cold, and show that VRN2 promotes tolerance to hypoxia. Our work reveals a mechanism for post-translational regulation of VRN2 stability that could potentially link environmental inputs to the epigenetic control of plant development.

PMID:
30575749
PMCID:
PMC6303374
DOI:
10.1038/s41467-018-07875-7
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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