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Science. 1996 Apr 19;272(5260):398-401.

A role for brassinosteroids in light-dependent development of Arabidopsis.

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  • 1Plant Biology Laboratory, Salk Institute, La Jolla, CA 92037, USA.


Although steroid hormones are important for animal development, the physiological role of plant steroids is unknown. The Arabidopsis DET2 gene encodes a protein that shares significant sequence identity with mammalian steroid 5 alpha-reductases. A mutation of glutamate 204, which is absolutely required for the activity of human steroid reductase, abolishes the in vivo activity of DET2 and leads to defects in light-regulated development that can be ameliorated by application of a plant steroid, brassinolide. Thus, DET2 may encode a reductase in the brassinolide biosynthetic pathway, and brassinosteroids may constitute a distinct class of phytohormones with an important role in light-regulated development of higher plants.

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