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Plant Cell. 2019 Feb;31(2):430-443. doi: 10.1105/tpc.18.00693. Epub 2019 Feb 1.

The Histone H3K4 Demethylase JMJ16 Represses Leaf Senescence in Arabidopsis.

Author information

1
Key Laboratory of Plant Molecular Physiology, Institute of Botany, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100093, China.
2
State Key Laboratory of Plant Genomics and National Center for Plant Gene Research, Institute of Genetics and Developmental Biology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100101, China.
3
State Key Laboratory of Stem Cell and Reproductive Biology, Institute of Zoology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100101, China.
4
College of Life Sciences, Capital Normal University, Beijing 100048, China.
5
Department of Ornamental Horticulture, China Agricultural University, Beijing 100193, China.
6
China College of Biological Sciences and Biotechnology, Beijing Forestry University, Beijing 100083, China.
7
University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China.
8
CAS Center for Excellence in Molecular Plant Sciences, Institute of Genetics and Developmental Biology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100101, China.
9
Key Laboratory of Plant Molecular Physiology, Institute of Botany, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100093, China jinjb@ibcas.ac.cn xfcao@genetics.ac.cn.

Abstract

Leaf senescence is governed by a complex regulatory network involving the dynamic reprogramming of gene expression. Age-dependent induction of senescence-associated genes (SAGs) is associated with increased levels of trimethylation of histone H3 at Lys4 (H3K4me3), but the regulatory mechanism remains elusive. Here, we found that JMJ16, an Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana) JmjC-domain containing protein, is a specific H3K4 demethylase that negatively regulates leaf senescence through its enzymatic activity. Genome-wide analysis revealed a widespread coordinated upregulation of gene expression and hypermethylation of H3K4me3 at JMJ16 binding genes associated with leaf senescence in the loss-of-function jmj16 mutant as compared with the wild type. Genetic analysis indicated that JMJ16 negatively regulates leaf senescence, at least partly through repressing the expression of positive regulators of leaf senescence, WRKY53 and SAG201 JMJ16 associates with WRKY53 and SAG201 and represses their precocious expression in mature leaves by reducing H3K4me3 levels at these loci. The protein abundance of JMJ16 gradually decreases during aging, which is correlated with increased H3K4me3 levels at WRKY53 and SAG201, suggesting that the age-dependent downregulation of JMJ16 is required for the precise transcriptional activation of SAGs during leaf senescence. Thus, JMJ16 is an important regulator of leaf senescence that demethylates H3K4 at SAGs in an age-dependent manner.

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