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Plant Cell. 2004 Feb;16(2):379-93. Epub 2004 Jan 16.

MASSUGU2 encodes Aux/IAA19, an auxin-regulated protein that functions together with the transcriptional activator NPH4/ARF7 to regulate differential growth responses of hypocotyl and formation of lateral roots in Arabidopsis thaliana.

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Division of Biological Sciences, Graduate School of Environmental Earth Science, Hokkaido University, Sapporo 060-0810, Japan.


We have isolated a dominant, auxin-insensitive mutant of Arabidopsis thaliana, massugu2 (msg2), that displays neither hypocotyl gravitropism nor phototropism, fails to maintain an apical hook as an etiolated seedling, and is defective in lateral root formation. Yet other aspects of growth and development of msg2 plants are almost normal. These characteristics of msg2 are similar to those of another auxin-insensitive mutant, non-phototropic hypocotyl4 (nph4), which is a loss-of-function mutant of AUXIN RESPONSE FACTOR7 (ARF7) (Harper et al., 2000). Map-based cloning of the MSG2 locus reveals that all four mutant alleles result in amino acid substitutions in the conserved domain II of an Auxin/Indole-3-Acetic Acid protein, IAA19. Interestingly, auxin inducibility of MSG2/IAA19 gene expression is reduced by 65% in nph4/arf7. Moreover, MSG2/IAA19 protein binds to the C-terminal domain of NPH4/ARF7 in a Saccharomyces cerevisiae (yeast) two-hybrid assay and to the whole latter protein in vitro by pull-down assay. These results suggest that MSG2/IAA19 and NPH4/ARF7 may constitute a negative feedback loop to regulate differential growth responses of hypocotyls and lateral root formation.

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