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Plant Cell. 2016 Feb;28(2):505-20. doi: 10.1105/tpc.15.00867. Epub 2016 Jan 13.

The LSM1-7 Complex Differentially Regulates Arabidopsis Tolerance to Abiotic Stress Conditions by Promoting Selective mRNA Decapping.

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Departamento de Biología Medioambiental, Centro de Investigaciones Biológicas, CSIC, 28040 Madrid, Spain.
Laboratory of Growth Regulators, Institute of Experimental Botany Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic, v.v.i. & Palacký University, 78371 Olomouc, Czech Republic.
Department of Biology, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, Utah 84112.
Department of Plant Breeding and Genetics, Max Planck Institute for Plant Breeding Research, 50829 Cologne, Germany INRA, Institut Jean-Pierre Bourgin, UMR 1318, 78026 Versailles, France.
Departamento de Biología Medioambiental, Centro de Investigaciones Biológicas, CSIC, 28040 Madrid, Spain


In eukaryotes, the decapping machinery is highly conserved and plays an essential role in controlling mRNA stability, a key step in the regulation of gene expression. Yet, the role of mRNA decapping in shaping gene expression profiles in response to environmental cues and the operating molecular mechanisms are poorly understood. Here, we provide genetic and molecular evidence that a component of the decapping machinery, the LSM1-7 complex, plays a critical role in plant tolerance to abiotic stresses. Our results demonstrate that, depending on the stress, the complex from Arabidopsis thaliana interacts with different selected stress-inducible transcripts targeting them for decapping and subsequent degradation. This interaction ensures the correct turnover of the target transcripts and, consequently, the appropriate patterns of downstream stress-responsive gene expression that are required for plant adaptation. Remarkably, among the selected target transcripts of the LSM1-7 complex are those encoding NCED3 and NCED5, two key enzymes in abscisic acid (ABA) biosynthesis. We demonstrate that the complex modulates ABA levels in Arabidopsis exposed to cold and high salt by differentially controlling NCED3 and NCED5 mRNA turnover, which represents a new layer of regulation in ABA biosynthesis in response to abiotic stress. Our findings uncover an unanticipated functional plasticity of the mRNA decapping machinery to modulate the relationship between plants and their environment.

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