In JoVE (1)

Other Publications (200)

Articles by Jiří Friml in JoVE

Other articles by Jiří Friml on PubMed

Apical-basal Polarity: Why Plant Cells Don't Stand on Their Heads

Trends in Plant Science. Jan, 2006  |  Pubmed ID: 16356758

Endocytosis of Cell Surface Material Mediates Cell Plate Formation During Plant Cytokinesis

Developmental Cell. Jan, 2006  |  Pubmed ID: 16399085

Dividing plant cells perform a remarkable task of building a new cell wall within the cytoplasm in a few minutes. A long-standing paradigm claims that this primordial cell wall, known as the cell plate, is generated by delivery of newly synthesized material from Golgi apparatus-originated secretory vesicles. Here, we show that, in diverse plant species, cell surface material, including plasma membrane proteins, cell wall components, and exogenously applied endocytic tracers, is rapidly delivered to the forming cell plate. Importantly, this occurs even when de novo protein synthesis is blocked. In addition, cytokinesis-specific syntaxin KNOLLE as well as plasma membrane (PM) resident proteins localize to endosomes that fuse to initiate the cell plate. The rate of endocytosis is strongly enhanced during cell plate formation, and its genetic or pharmacological inhibition leads to cytokinesis defects. Our results reveal that endocytic delivery of cell surface material significantly contributes to cell plate formation during plant cytokinesis.

A Molecular Framework for Plant Regeneration

Science (New York, N.Y.). Jan, 2006  |  Pubmed ID: 16424342

Plants and some animals have a profound capacity to regenerate organs from adult tissues. Molecular mechanisms for regeneration have, however, been largely unexplored. Here we investigate a local regeneration response in Arabidopsis roots. Laser-induced wounding disrupts the flow of auxin-a cell-fate-instructive plant hormone-in root tips, and we demonstrate that resulting cell-fate changes require the PLETHORA, SHORTROOT, and SCARECROW transcription factors. These transcription factors regulate the expression and polar position of PIN auxin efflux-facilitating membrane proteins to reconstitute auxin transport in renewed root tips. Thus, a regeneration mechanism using embryonic root stem-cell patterning factors first responds to and subsequently stabilizes a new hormone distribution.

Intracellular Trafficking and Proteolysis of the Arabidopsis Auxin-efflux Facilitator PIN2 Are Involved in Root Gravitropism

Nature Cell Biology. Mar, 2006  |  Pubmed ID: 16489343

Root gravitropism describes the orientation of root growth along the gravity vector and is mediated by differential cell elongation in the root meristem. This response requires the coordinated, asymmetric distribution of the phytohormone auxin within the root meristem, and depends on the concerted activities of PIN proteins and AUX1 - members of the auxin transport pathway. Here, we show that intracellular trafficking and proteasome activity combine to control PIN2 degradation during root gravitropism. Following gravi-stimulation, proteasome-dependent variations in PIN2 localization and degradation at the upper and lower sides of the root result in asymmetric distribution of PIN2. Ubiquitination of PIN2 occurs in a proteasome-dependent manner, indicating that the proteasome is involved in the control of PIN2 turnover. Stabilization of PIN2 affects its abundance and distribution, and leads to defects in auxin distribution and gravitropic responses. We describe the effects of auxin on PIN2 localization and protein levels, indicating that redistribution of auxin during the gravitropic response may be involved in the regulation of PIN2 protein.

Auxin Signaling

Journal of Cell Science. Apr, 2006  |  Pubmed ID: 16554435

PIN Proteins Perform a Rate-limiting Function in Cellular Auxin Efflux

Science (New York, N.Y.). May, 2006  |  Pubmed ID: 16601150

Intercellular flow of the phytohormone auxin underpins multiple developmental processes in plants. Plant-specific pin-formed (PIN) proteins and several phosphoglycoprotein (PGP) transporters are crucial factors in auxin transport-related development, yet the molecular function of PINs remains unknown. Here, we show that PINs mediate auxin efflux from mammalian and yeast cells without needing additional plant-specific factors. Conditional gain-of-function alleles and quantitative measurements of auxin accumulation in Arabidopsis and tobacco cultured cells revealed that the action of PINs in auxin efflux is distinct from PGP, rate-limiting, specific to auxins, and sensitive to auxin transport inhibitors. This suggests a direct involvement of PINs in catalyzing cellular auxin efflux.

Polar PIN Localization Directs Auxin Flow in Plants

Science (New York, N.Y.). May, 2006  |  Pubmed ID: 16601151

Polar flow of the phytohormone auxin requires plasma membrane-associated PIN proteins and underlies multiple developmental processes in plants. Here we address the importance of the polarity of subcellular PIN localization for the directionality of auxin transport in Arabidopsis thaliana. Expression of different PINs in the root epidermis revealed the importance of PIN polar positions for directional auxin flow and root gravitropic growth. Interfering with sequence-embedded polarity signals directly demonstrates that PIN polarity is a primary factor in determining the direction of auxin flow in meristematic tissues. This finding provides a crucial piece in the puzzle of how auxin flow can be redirected via rapid changes in PIN polarity.

Control of Leaf Vascular Patterning by Polar Auxin Transport

Genes & Development. Apr, 2006  |  Pubmed ID: 16618807

The formation of the leaf vascular pattern has fascinated biologists for centuries. In the early leaf primordium, complex networks of procambial cells emerge from homogeneous subepidermal tissue. The molecular nature of the underlying positional information is unknown, but various lines of evidence implicate gradually restricted transport routes of the plant hormone auxin in defining sites of procambium formation. Here we show that a crucial member of the AtPIN family of auxin-efflux-associated proteins, AtPIN1, is expressed prior to pre-procambial and procambial cell fate markers in domains that become restricted toward sites of procambium formation. Subcellular AtPIN1 polarity indicates that auxin is directed to distinct "convergence points" in the epidermis, from where it defines the positions of major veins. Integrated polarities in all emerging veins indicate auxin drainage toward pre-existing veins, but veins display divergent polarities as they become connected at both ends. Auxin application and transport inhibition reveal that convergence point positioning and AtPIN1 expression domain dynamics are self-organizing, auxin-transport-dependent processes. We derive a model for self-regulated, reiterative patterning of all vein orders and postulate at its onset a common epidermal auxin-focusing mechanism for major-vein positioning and phyllotactic patterning.

Canalization of Auxin Flow by Aux/IAA-ARF-dependent Feedback Regulation of PIN Polarity

Genes & Development. Oct, 2006  |  Pubmed ID: 17043314

Plant development is characterized by a profound ability to regenerate and form tissues with new axes of polarity. An unsolved question concerns how the position within a tissue and cues from neighboring cells are integrated to specify the polarity of individual cells. The canalization hypothesis proposes a feedback effect of the phytohormone auxin on the directionality of intercellular auxin flow as a means to polarize tissues. Here we identify a cellular and molecular mechanism for canalization. Local auxin application, wounding, or auxin accumulation during de novo organ formation lead to rearrangements in the subcellular polar localization of PIN auxin transport components. This auxin effect on PIN polarity is cell-specific, does not depend on PIN transcription, and involves the Aux/IAA-ARF (indole-3-acetic acid-auxin response factor) signaling pathway. Our data suggest that auxin acts as polarizing cue, which links individual cell polarity with tissue and organ polarity through control of PIN polar targeting. This feedback regulation provides a conceptual framework for polarization during multiple regenerative and patterning processes in plants.

Subcellular Trafficking of the Arabidopsis Auxin Influx Carrier AUX1 Uses a Novel Pathway Distinct from PIN1

The Plant Cell. Nov, 2006  |  Pubmed ID: 17114355

The directional flow of the plant hormone auxin mediates multiple developmental processes, including patterning and tropisms. Apical and basal plasma membrane localization of AUXIN-RESISTANT1 (AUX1) and PIN-FORMED1 (PIN1) auxin transport components underpins the directionality of intercellular auxin flow in Arabidopsis thaliana roots. Here, we examined the mechanism of polar trafficking of AUX1. Real-time live cell analysis along with subcellular markers revealed that AUX1 resides at the apical plasma membrane of protophloem cells and at highly dynamic subpopulations of Golgi apparatus and endosomes in all cell types. Plasma membrane and intracellular pools of AUX1 are interconnected by actin-dependent constitutive trafficking, which is not sensitive to the vesicle trafficking inhibitor brefeldin A. AUX1 subcellular dynamics are not influenced by the auxin influx inhibitor NOA but are blocked by the auxin efflux inhibitors TIBA and PBA. Furthermore, auxin transport inhibitors and interference with the sterol composition of membranes disrupt polar AUX1 distribution at the plasma membrane. Compared with PIN1 trafficking, AUX1 dynamics display different sensitivities to trafficking inhibitors and are independent of the endosomal trafficking regulator ARF GEF GNOM. Hence, AUX1 uses a novel trafficking pathway in plants that is distinct from PIN trafficking, providing an additional mechanism for the fine regulation of auxin transport.

Immunocytochemical Techniques for Whole-mount in Situ Protein Localization in Plants

Nature Protocols. 2006  |  Pubmed ID: 17406218

As the field of plant molecular biology is swiftly advancing, a need has been created for methods that allow rapid and reliable in situ localization of proteins in plant cells. Here we describe a whole-mount 'immunolocalization' technique for various plant tissues, including roots, hypocotyls, cotyledons, young primary leaves and embryos of Arabidopsis thaliana and other species. The detailed protocol, recommended controls and troubleshooting are presented, along with examples of applications. The protocol consists of five main procedures: tissue fixation, tissue permeation, blocking, primary and secondary antibody incubation. Notably, the first procedure (tissue fixation) includes several steps (4-12) that are absolutely necessary for protein localization in hypocotyls, cotyledons and young primary leaves but should be omitted for other tissues. The protocol is usually done in 3 days, but could also be completed in 2 days.

Immunocytochemical Technique for Protein Localization in Sections of Plant Tissues

Nature Protocols. 2006  |  Pubmed ID: 17406219

There is a growing demand for methods that allow rapid and reliable in situ localization of proteins in plant cells. The immunocytochemistry protocol presented here can be used routinely to observe protein localization patterns in tissue sections of various plant species. This protocol is especially suitable for plant species with more-complex tissue architecture (such as maize, Zea mays), which makes it difficult to use an easier whole-mount procedure for protein localization. To facilitate the antibody-antigen reaction, it is necessary to include a wax-embedding and tissue-sectioning step. The protocol consists of the following procedures: chemical fixation of tissue, dehydration, wax embedding, sectioning, dewaxing, rehydration, blocking and antibody incubation. The detailed protocol, recommended controls and troubleshooting are presented here, along with examples of applications.

In Situ Hybridization for MRNA Detection in Arabidopsis Tissue Sections

Nature Protocols. 2006  |  Pubmed ID: 17406436

Plant biology is currently confronted with an overflow of expression profile data provided by high-throughput microarray transcription analyses. However, the tissue and cellular resolution of these techniques is limited. Thus, it is still necessary to examine the expression pattern of selected candidate genes at a cellular level. Here we present an in situ mRNA hybridization method that is routinely used in the analysis of gene expression patterns. The protocol is optimized for mRNA localizations in sectioned tissue of Arabidopsis seedlings including embryos, roots, hypocotyls, young primary leaves and flowers. The detailed protocol, recommended controls and troubleshooting are presented along with examples of application. The total time for the process is 10 days.

In Situ Hybridization Technique for MRNA Detection in Whole Mount Arabidopsis Samples

Nature Protocols. 2006  |  Pubmed ID: 17487180

High throughput microarray transcription analyses provide us with the expression profiles for large amounts of plant genes. However, their tissue and cellular resolution is limited. Thus, for detailed functional analysis, it is still necessary to examine the expression pattern of selected candidate genes at a cellular level. Here, we present an in situ mRNA hybridization method that is routinely used for the analysis of plant gene expression patterns. The protocol is optimized for whole mount mRNA localizations in Arabidopsis seedling tissues including embryos, roots, hypocotyls and young primary leaves. It can also be used for comparable tissues in other species. Part of the protocol can also be automated and performed by a liquid handling robot. Here we present a detailed protocol, recommended controls and troubleshooting, along with examples of several applications. The total time to carry out the entire procedure is approximately 7 d, depending on the tissue used.

Interactions Among PIN-FORMED and P-glycoprotein Auxin Transporters in Arabidopsis

The Plant Cell. Jan, 2007  |  Pubmed ID: 17237354

Directional transport of the phytohormone auxin is established primarily at the point of cellular efflux and is required for the establishment and maintenance of plant polarity. Studies in whole plants and heterologous systems indicate that PIN-FORMED (PIN) and P-glycoprotein (PGP) transport proteins mediate the cellular efflux of natural and synthetic auxins. However, aromatic anion transport resulting from PGP and PIN expression in nonplant systems was also found to lack the high level of substrate specificity seen in planta. Furthermore, previous reports that PGP19 stabilizes PIN1 on the plasma membrane suggested that PIN-PGP interactions might regulate polar auxin efflux. Here, we show that PGP1 and PGP19 colocalized with PIN1 in the shoot apex in Arabidopsis thaliana and with PIN1 and PIN2 in root tissues. Specific PGP-PIN interactions were seen in yeast two-hybrid and coimmunoprecipitation assays. PIN-PGP interactions appeared to enhance transport activity and, to a greater extent, substrate/inhibitor specificities when coexpressed in heterologous systems. By contrast, no interactions between PGPs and the AUXIN1 influx carrier were observed. Phenotypes of pin and pgp mutants suggest discrete functional roles in auxin transport, but pin pgp mutants exhibited phenotypes that are both additive and synergistic. These results suggest that PINs and PGPs characterize coordinated, independent auxin transport mechanisms but also function interactively in a tissue-specific manner.

Clathrin-mediated Constitutive Endocytosis of PIN Auxin Efflux Carriers in Arabidopsis

Current Biology : CB. Mar, 2007  |  Pubmed ID: 17306539

Endocytosis is an essential process by which eukaryotic cells internalize exogenous material or regulate signaling at the cell surface [1]. Different endocytic pathways are well established in yeast and animals; prominent among them is clathrin-dependent endocytosis [2, 3]. In plants, endocytosis is poorly defined, and no molecular mechanism for cargo internalization has been demonstrated so far [4, 5], although the internalization of receptor-ligand complexes at the plant plasma membrane has recently been shown [6]. Here we demonstrate by means of a green-to-red photoconvertible fluorescent reporter, EosFP [7], the constitutive endocytosis of PIN auxin efflux carriers [8] and their recycling to the plasma membrane. Using a plant clathrin-specific antibody, we show the presence of clathrin at different stages of coated-vesicle formation at the plasma membrane in Arabidopsis. Genetic interference with clathrin function inhibits PIN internalization and endocytosis in general. Furthermore, pharmacological interference with cargo recruitment into the clathrin pathway blocks internalization of PINs and other plasma-membrane proteins. Our data demonstrate that clathrin-dependent endocytosis is operational in plants and constitutes the predominant pathway for the internalization of numerous plasma-membrane-resident proteins including PIN auxin efflux carriers.

Molecular and Cellular Aspects of Auxin-transport-mediated Development

Trends in Plant Science. Apr, 2007  |  Pubmed ID: 17369077

The plant hormone auxin is frequently observed to be asymmetrically distributed across adjacent cells during crucial stages of growth and development. These auxin gradients depend on polar transport and regulate a wide variety of processes, including embryogenesis, organogenesis, vascular tissue differentiation, root meristem maintenance and tropic growth. Auxin can mediate such a perplexing array of developmental processes by acting as a general trigger for the change in developmental program in cells where it accumulates and by providing vectorial information to the tissues by its polar intercellular flow. In recent years, a wealth of molecular data on the mechanism of auxin transport and its regulation has been generated, providing significant insights into the action of this versatile coordinative signal.

A Unifying New Model of Cytokinesis for the Dividing Plant and Animal Cells

BioEssays : News and Reviews in Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology. Apr, 2007  |  Pubmed ID: 17373659

Cytokinesis ensures proper partitioning of the nucleocytoplasmic contents into two daughter cells. It has generally been thought that cytokinesis is accomplished differently in animals and plants because of the differences in the preparatory phases, into the centrosomal or acentrosomal nature of the process, the presence or absence of rigid cell walls, and on the basis of 'outside-in' or 'inside-out' mechanism. However, this long-standing paradigm needs further reevaluation based on new findings. Recent advances reveal that plant cells, similarly to animal cells, possess astral microtubules that regulate the cell division plane. Furthermore, endocytosis has been found to be important for cytokinesis in animal and plant cells: vesicles containing endocytosed cargo provide material for the cell plate formation in plants and for closure of the midbody channel in animals. Thus, although the preparatory phases of the cell division process differ between plant and animal cells, the later phases show similarities. We unify these findings in a model that suggests a conserved mode of cytokinesis.

Ethylene Regulates Root Growth Through Effects on Auxin Biosynthesis and Transport-dependent Auxin Distribution

The Plant Cell. Jul, 2007  |  Pubmed ID: 17630274

In plants, each developmental process integrates a network of signaling events that are regulated by different phytohormones, and interactions among hormonal pathways are essential to modulate their effect. Continuous growth of roots results from the postembryonic activity of cells within the root meristem that is controlled by the coordinated action of several phytohormones, including auxin and ethylene. Although their interaction has been studied intensively, the molecular and cellular mechanisms underlying this interplay are unknown. We show that the effect of ethylene on root growth is largely mediated by the regulation of the auxin biosynthesis and transport-dependent local auxin distribution. Ethylene stimulates auxin biosynthesis and basipetal auxin transport toward the elongation zone, where it activates a local auxin response leading to inhibition of cell elongation. Consistently, in mutants affected in auxin perception or basipetal auxin transport, ethylene cannot activate the auxin response nor regulate the root growth. In addition, ethylene modulates the transcription of several components of the auxin transport machinery. Thus, ethylene achieves a local activation of the auxin signaling pathway and regulates root growth by both stimulating the auxin biosynthesis and by modulating the auxin transport machinery.

MODULATOR OF PIN Genes Control Steady-state Levels of Arabidopsis PIN Proteins

The Plant Journal : for Cell and Molecular Biology. Aug, 2007  |  Pubmed ID: 17651372

Polar transport of the phytohormone auxin controls numerous growth responses in plants. Molecular characterization of auxin transport in Arabidopsis thaliana has provided important insights into the mechanisms underlying the regulation of auxin distribution. In particular, the control of subcellular localization and expression of PIN-type auxin efflux components appears to be fundamental for orchestrated distribution of the growth regulator throughout the entire plant body. Here we describe the identification of two Arabidopsis loci, MOP2 and MOP3 (for MODULATOR OF PIN), that are involved in control of the steady-state levels of PIN protein. Mutations in both loci result in defects in auxin distribution and polar auxin transport, and cause phenotypes consistent with a reduction of PIN protein levels. Genetic interaction between PIN2 and both MOP loci is suggestive of functional cross-talk, which is further substantiated by findings demonstrating that ectopic PIN up-regulation is compensated in the mop background. Thus, in addition to pathways that control PIN localization and transcription, MOP2 and MOP3 appear to be involved in fine-tuning of auxin distribution via post-transcriptional regulation of PIN expression.

Antagonistic Regulation of PIN Phosphorylation by PP2A and PINOID Directs Auxin Flux

Cell. Sep, 2007  |  Pubmed ID: 17889649

In plants, cell polarity and tissue patterning are connected by intercellular flow of the phytohormone auxin, whose directional signaling depends on polar subcellular localization of PIN auxin transport proteins. The mechanism of polar targeting of PINs or other cargos in plants is largely unidentified, with the PINOID kinase being the only known molecular component. Here, we identify PP2A phosphatase as an important regulator of PIN apical-basal targeting and auxin distribution. Genetic analysis, localization, and phosphorylation studies demonstrate that PP2A and PINOID both partially colocalize with PINs and act antagonistically on the phosphorylation state of their central hydrophilic loop, hence mediating PIN apical-basal polar targeting. Thus, in plants, polar sorting by the reversible phosphorylation of cargos allows for their conditional delivery to specific intracellular destinations. In the case of PIN proteins, this mechanism enables switches in the direction of intercellular auxin fluxes, which mediate differential growth, tissue patterning, and organogenesis.

Cytokinins Act Directly on Lateral Root Founder Cells to Inhibit Root Initiation

The Plant Cell. Dec, 2007  |  Pubmed ID: 18065686

In Arabidopsis thaliana, lateral roots are formed from root pericycle cells adjacent to the xylem poles. Lateral root development is regulated antagonistically by the plant hormones auxin and cytokinin. While a great deal is known about how auxin promotes lateral root development, the mechanism of cytokinin repression is still unclear. Elevating cytokinin levels was observed to disrupt lateral root initiation and the regular pattern of divisions that characterizes lateral root development in Arabidopsis. To identify the stage of lateral root development that is sensitive to cytokinins, we targeted the expression of the Agrobacterium tumefaciens cytokinin biosynthesis enzyme isopentenyltransferase to either xylem-pole pericycle cells or young lateral root primordia using GAL4-GFP enhancer trap lines. Transactivation experiments revealed that xylem-pole pericycle cells are sensitive to cytokinins, whereas young lateral root primordia are not. This effect is physiologically significant because transactivation of the Arabidopsis cytokinin degrading enzyme cytokinin oxidase 1 in lateral root founder cells results in increased lateral root formation. We observed that cytokinins perturb the expression of PIN genes in lateral root founder cells and prevent the formation of an auxin gradient that is required to pattern lateral root primordia.

Role of Alternative Telomere Lengthening Unmasked in Telomerase Knock-out Mutant Plants

Plant Molecular Biology. Apr, 2008  |  Pubmed ID: 18239859

Telomeres in many eukaryotes are maintained by telomerase in whose absence telomere shortening occurs. However, telomerase-deficient Arabidopsis thaliana mutants (Attert (-/-)) show extremely low rates of telomere shortening per plant generation (250-500 bp), which does not correspond to the expected outcome of replicative telomere shortening resulting from ca. 1,000 meristem cell divisions per seed-to-seed generation. To investigate the influence of the number of cell divisions per seed-to-seed generation, Attert (-/-) mutant plants were propagated from seeds coming either from the lower-most or the upper-most siliques (L- and U-plants) and the length of their telomeres were followed over several generations. The rate of telomere shortening was faster in U-plants, than in L-plants, as would be expected from their higher number of cell divisions per generation. However, this trend was observed only in telomeres whose initial length is relatively high and the differences decreased with progressive general telomere shortening over generations. But in generation 4, the L-plants frequently show a net telomere elongation, while the U-plants fail to do so. We propose that this is due to the activation of alternative telomere lengthening (ALT), a process which is activated in early embryonic development in both U- and L-plants, but is overridden in U-plants due to their higher number of cell divisions per generation. These data demonstrate what so far has only been speculated, that in the absence of telomerase, the number of cell divisions within one generation influences the control of telomere lengths. These results also reveal a fast and efficient activation of ALT mechanism(s) in response to the loss of telomerase activity and imply that ALT is probably involved also in normal plant development.

Auxin Transport Inhibitors Impair Vesicle Motility and Actin Cytoskeleton Dynamics in Diverse Eukaryotes

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. Mar, 2008  |  Pubmed ID: 18337510

Many aspects of plant development, including patterning and tropisms, are largely dependent on the asymmetric distribution of the plant signaling molecule auxin. Auxin transport inhibitors (ATIs), which interfere with directional auxin transport, have been essential tools in formulating this concept. However, despite the use of ATIs in plant research for many decades, the mechanism of ATI action has remained largely elusive. Using real-time live-cell microscopy, we show here that prominent ATIs such as 2,3,5-triiodobenzoic acid (TIBA) and 2-(1-pyrenoyl) benzoic acid (PBA) inhibit vesicle trafficking in plant, yeast, and mammalian cells. Effects on micropinocytosis, rab5-labeled endosomal motility at the periphery of HeLa cells and on fibroblast mobility indicate that ATIs influence actin cytoskeleton. Visualization of actin cytoskeleton dynamics in plants, yeast, and mammalian cells show that ATIs stabilize actin. Conversely, stabilizing actin by chemical or genetic means interferes with endocytosis, vesicle motility, auxin transport, and plant development, including auxin transport-dependent processes. Our results show that a class of ATIs act as actin stabilizers and advocate that actin-dependent trafficking of auxin transport components participates in the mechanism of auxin transport. These studies also provide an example of how the common eukaryotic process of actin-based vesicle motility can fulfill a plant-specific physiological role.

In Vitro Culture of Arabidopsis Embryos

Methods in Molecular Biology (Clifton, N.J.). 2008  |  Pubmed ID: 18369997

Embryogenesis of Arabidopsis thaliana follows a nearly invariant cell division pattern and provides an ideal system for studies of early plant development. However, experimental manipulation with embryogenesis is difficult, as the embryo develops deeply inside maternal tissues. Here, we present a method to culture zygotic Arabidopsis embryos in vitro. It enables culturing for prolonged periods of time from the first developmental stages on. The technique omits excision of the embryo by culturing the entire ovule, which facilitates the manual procedure. It allows pharmacological manipulation of embryo development and does not interfere with standard techniques for localizing gene expression and protein localization in the cultivated embryos.

Visualization of Auxin Gradients in Embryogenesis

Methods in Molecular Biology (Clifton, N.J.). 2008  |  Pubmed ID: 18370003

Embryogenesis in Arabidopsis thaliana depends on the proper establishment and maintenance of local auxin accumulation. In the course of elucidating the connections between developmental progress and auxin distribution, several techniques have been developed to investigate spatial and temporal distribution of auxin response or accumulation in Arabidopsis embryos. This chapter reviews and describes two independent methods, the detection of the activity of auxin responsive transgenes and immunolocalization of auxin itself.

ARF GEF-dependent Transcytosis and Polar Delivery of PIN Auxin Carriers in Arabidopsis

Current Biology : CB. Apr, 2008  |  Pubmed ID: 18394892

Cell polarity manifested by the polar cargo delivery to different plasma-membrane domains is a fundamental feature of multicellular organisms. Pathways for polar delivery have been identified in animals; prominent among them is transcytosis, which involves cargo movement between different sides of the cell [1]. PIN transporters are prominent polar cargoes in plants, whose polar subcellular localization determines the directional flow of the signaling molecule auxin [2, 3]. In this study, we address the cellular mechanisms of PIN polar targeting and dynamic polarity changes. We show that apical and basal PIN targeting pathways are interconnected but molecularly distinct by means of ARF GEF vesicle-trafficking regulators. Pharmacological or genetic interference with the Arabidopsis ARF GEF GNOM leads specifically to apicalization of basal cargoes such as PIN1. We visualize the translocation of PIN proteins between the opposite sides of polarized cells in vivo and show that this PIN transcytosis occurs by endocytic recycling and alternative recruitment of the same cargo molecules by apical and basal targeting machineries. Our data suggest that an ARF GEF-dependent transcytosis-like mechanism is operational in plants and provides a plausible mechanism to trigger changes in PIN polarity and hence auxin fluxes during embryogenesis and organogenesis.

Plant Biology: in Their Neighbour's Shadow

Nature. May, 2008  |  Pubmed ID: 18480806

Auxin Acts As a Local Morphogenetic Trigger to Specify Lateral Root Founder Cells

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. Jun, 2008  |  Pubmed ID: 18559858

Plants exhibit an exceptional adaptability to different environmental conditions. To a large extent, this adaptability depends on their ability to initiate and form new organs throughout their entire postembryonic life. Plant shoot and root systems unceasingly branch and form axillary shoots or lateral roots, respectively. The first event in the formation of a new organ is specification of founder cells. Several plant hormones, prominent among them auxin, have been implicated in the acquisition of founder cell identity by differentiated cells, but the mechanisms underlying this process are largely elusive. Here, we show that auxin and its local accumulation in root pericycle cells is a necessary and sufficient signal to respecify these cells into lateral root founder cells. Analysis of the alf4-1 mutant suggests that specification of founder cells and the subsequent activation of cell division leading to primordium formation represent two genetically separable events. Time-lapse experiments show that the activation of an auxin response is the earliest detectable event in founder cell specification. Accordingly, local activation of auxin response correlates absolutely with the acquisition of founder cell identity and precedes the actual formation of a lateral root primordium through patterned cell division. Local production and subsequent accumulation of auxin in single pericycle cells induced by Cre-Lox-based activation of auxin synthesis converts them into founder cells. Thus, auxin is the local instructive signal that is sufficient for acquisition of founder cell identity and can be considered a morphogenetic trigger in postembryonic plant organogenesis.

The Auxin Influx Carrier LAX3 Promotes Lateral Root Emergence

Nature Cell Biology. Aug, 2008  |  Pubmed ID: 18622388

Lateral roots originate deep within the parental root from a small number of founder cells at the periphery of vascular tissues and must emerge through intervening layers of tissues. We describe how the hormone auxin, which originates from the developing lateral root, acts as a local inductive signal which re-programmes adjacent cells. Auxin induces the expression of a previously uncharacterized auxin influx carrier LAX3 in cortical and epidermal cells directly overlaying new primordia. Increased LAX3 activity reinforces the auxin-dependent induction of a selection of cell-wall-remodelling enzymes, which are likely to promote cell separation in advance of developing lateral root primordia.

PIN Polar Targeting

Plant Physiology. Aug, 2008  |  Pubmed ID: 18678746

Flavonoids Redirect PIN-mediated Polar Auxin Fluxes During Root Gravitropic Responses

The Journal of Biological Chemistry. Nov, 2008  |  Pubmed ID: 18718912

The rate, polarity, and symmetry of the flow of the plant hormone auxin are determined by the polar cellular localization of PIN-FORMED (PIN) auxin efflux carriers. Flavonoids, a class of secondary plant metabolites, have been suspected to modulate auxin transport and tropic responses. Nevertheless, the identity of specific flavonoid compounds involved and their molecular function and targets in vivo are essentially unknown. Here we show that the root elongation zone of agravitropic pin2/eir1/wav6/agr1 has an altered pattern and amount of flavonol glycosides. Application of nanomolar concentrations of flavonols to pin2 roots is sufficient to partially restore root gravitropism. By employing a quantitative cell biological approach, we demonstrate that flavonoids partially restore the formation of lateral auxin gradients in the absence of PIN2. Chemical complementation by flavonoids correlates with an asymmetric distribution of the PIN1 protein. pin2 complementation probably does not result from inhibition of auxin efflux, as supply of the auxin transport inhibitor N-1-naphthylphthalamic acid failed to restore pin2 gravitropism. We propose that flavonoids promote asymmetric PIN shifts during gravity stimulation, thus redirecting basipetal auxin streams necessary for root bending.

Interaction of PIN and PGP Transport Mechanisms in Auxin Distribution-dependent Development

Development (Cambridge, England). Oct, 2008  |  Pubmed ID: 18787070

The signalling molecule auxin controls plant morphogenesis via its activity gradients, which are produced by intercellular auxin transport. Cellular auxin efflux is the rate-limiting step in this process and depends on PIN and phosphoglycoprotein (PGP) auxin transporters. Mutual roles for these proteins in auxin transport are unclear, as is the significance of their interactions for plant development. Here, we have analysed the importance of the functional interaction between PIN- and PGP-dependent auxin transport in development. We show by analysis of inducible overexpression lines that PINs and PGPs define distinct auxin transport mechanisms: both mediate auxin efflux but they play diverse developmental roles. Components of both systems are expressed during embryogenesis, organogenesis and tropisms, and they interact genetically in both synergistic and antagonistic fashions. A concerted action of PIN- and PGP-dependent efflux systems is required for asymmetric auxin distribution during these processes. We propose a model in which PGP-mediated efflux controls auxin levels in auxin channel-forming cells and, thus, auxin availability for PIN-dependent vectorial auxin movement.

Polar Targeting and Endocytic Recycling in Auxin-dependent Plant Development

Annual Review of Cell and Developmental Biology. 2008  |  Pubmed ID: 18837671

Plant development is characterized by a profound phenotypic plasticity that often involves redefining of the developmental fate and polarity of cells within differentiated tissues. The plant hormone auxin and its directional intercellular transport play a major role in these processes because they provide positional information and link cell polarity with tissue patterning. This plant-specific mechanism of transport-dependent auxin gradients depends on subcellular dynamics of auxin transport components, in particular on endocytic recycling and polar targeting. Recent insights into these cellular processes in plants have revealed important parallels to yeast and animal systems, including clathrin-dependent endocytosis, retromer function, and transcytosis, but have also emphasized unique features of plant cells such as diversity of polar targeting pathways; integration of environmental signals into subcellular trafficking; and the link between endocytosis, cell polarity, and cell fate specification. We review these advances and focus on the translation of the subcellular dynamics to the regulation of whole-plant development.

Receptor-like Kinase ACR4 Restricts Formative Cell Divisions in the Arabidopsis Root

Science (New York, N.Y.). Oct, 2008  |  Pubmed ID: 18948541

During the development of multicellular organisms, organogenesis and pattern formation depend on formative divisions to specify and maintain pools of stem cells. In higher plants, these activities are essential to shape the final root architecture because the functioning of root apical meristems and the de novo formation of lateral roots entirely rely on it. We used transcript profiling on sorted pericycle cells undergoing lateral root initiation to identify the receptor-like kinase ACR4 of Arabidopsis as a key factor both in promoting formative cell divisions in the pericycle and in constraining the number of these divisions once organogenesis has been started. In the root tip meristem, ACR4 shows a similar action by controlling cell proliferation activity in the columella cell lineage. Thus, ACR4 function reveals a common mechanism of formative cell division control in the main root tip meristem and during lateral root initiation.

Generation of Cell Polarity in Plants Links Endocytosis, Auxin Distribution and Cell Fate Decisions

Nature. Dec, 2008  |  Pubmed ID: 18953331

Dynamically polarized membrane proteins define different cell boundaries and have an important role in intercellular communication-a vital feature of multicellular development. Efflux carriers for the signalling molecule auxin from the PIN family are landmarks of cell polarity in plants and have a crucial involvement in auxin distribution-dependent development including embryo patterning, organogenesis and tropisms. Polar PIN localization determines the direction of intercellular auxin flow, yet the mechanisms generating PIN polarity remain unclear. Here we identify an endocytosis-dependent mechanism of PIN polarity generation and analyse its developmental implications. Real-time PIN tracking showed that after synthesis, PINs are initially delivered to the plasma membrane in a non-polar manner and their polarity is established by subsequent endocytic recycling. Interference with PIN endocytosis either by auxin or by manipulation of the Arabidopsis Rab5 GTPase pathway prevents PIN polarization. Failure of PIN polarization transiently alters asymmetric auxin distribution during embryogenesis and increases the local auxin response in apical embryo regions. This results in ectopic expression of auxin pathway-associated root-forming master regulators in embryonic leaves and promotes homeotic transformation of leaves to roots. Our results indicate a two-step mechanism for the generation of PIN polar localization and the essential role of endocytosis in this process. It also highlights the link between endocytosis-dependent polarity of individual cells and auxin distribution-dependent cell fate establishment for multicellular patterning.

Differential Degradation of PIN2 Auxin Efflux Carrier by Retromer-dependent Vacuolar Targeting

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. Nov, 2008  |  Pubmed ID: 19004783

All eukaryotic cells present at the cell surface a specific set of plasma membrane proteins that modulate responses to internal and external cues and whose activity is also regulated by protein degradation. We characterized the lytic vacuole-dependent degradation of membrane proteins in Arabidopsis thaliana by means of in vivo visualization of vacuolar targeting combined with quantitative protein analysis. We show that the vacuolar targeting pathway is used by multiple cargos including PIN-FORMED (PIN) efflux carriers for the phytohormone auxin. In vivo visualization of PIN2 vacuolar targeting revealed its differential degradation in response to environmental signals, such as gravity. In contrast to polar PIN delivery to the basal plasma membrane, which depends on the vesicle trafficking regulator ARF-GEF GNOM, PIN sorting to the lytic vacuolar pathway requires additional brefeldin A-sensitive ARF-GEF activity. Furthermore, we identified putative retromer components SORTING NEXIN1 (SNX1) and VACUOLAR PROTEIN SORTING29 (VPS29) as important factors in this pathway and propose that the retromer complex acts to retrieve PIN proteins from a late/pre-vacuolar compartment back to the recycling pathways. Our data suggest that ARF GEF- and retromer-dependent processes regulate PIN sorting to the vacuole in an antagonistic manner and illustrate instrumentalization of this mechanism for fine-tuning the auxin fluxes during gravitropic response.

Cellular and Molecular Requirements for Polar PIN Targeting and Transcytosis in Plants

Molecular Plant. Nov, 2008  |  Pubmed ID: 19825603

The polar, sub-cellular localization of PIN auxin efflux carriers determines the direction of intercellular auxin flow, thus defining the spatial aspect of auxin signalling. Dynamic, transcytosis-like relocalizations of PIN proteins occur in response to external and internal signals, integrating these signals into changes in auxin distribution. Here, we examine the cellular and molecular mechanisms of polar PIN delivery and transcytosis. The mechanisms of the ARF-GEF-dependent polar targeting and transcytosis are well conserved and show little variations among diverse Arabidopsis ecotypes consistent with their fundamental importance in regulating plant development. At the cellular level, we refine previous findings on the role of the actin cytoskeleton in apical and basal PIN targeting, and identify a previously unknown role for microtubules, specifically in basal targeting. PIN protein delivery to different sides of the cell is mediated by ARF-dependent trafficking with a previously unknown complex level of distinct ARF-GEF vesicle trafficking regulators. Our data suggest that alternative recruitment of PIN proteins by these distinct pathways can account for cell type- and cargo-specific aspects of polar targeting, as well as for polarity changes in response to different signals. The resulting dynamic PIN positioning to different sides of cells defines a three-dimensional pattern of auxin fluxes within plant tissues.

ABCB19/PGP19 Stabilises PIN1 in Membrane Microdomains in Arabidopsis

The Plant Journal : for Cell and Molecular Biology. Jan, 2009  |  Pubmed ID: 18774968

Auxin transport is mediated at the cellular level by three independent mechanisms that are characterised by the PIN-formed (PIN), P-glycoprotein (ABCB/PGP) and AUX/LAX transport proteins. The PIN and ABCB transport proteins, best represented by PIN1 and ABCB19 (PGP19), have been shown to coordinately regulate auxin efflux. When PIN1 and ABCB19 coincide on the plasma membrane, their interaction enhances the rate and specificity of auxin efflux and the dynamic cycling of PIN1 is reduced. However, ABCB19 function is not regulated by the dynamic cellular trafficking mechanisms that regulate PIN1 in apical tissues, as localisation of ABCB19 on the plasma membrane was not inhibited by short-term treatments with latrunculin B, oryzalin, brefeldin A (BFA) or wortmannin--all of which have been shown to alter PIN1 and/or PIN2 plasma membrane localisation. When taken up by endocytosis, the styryl dye FM4-64 labels diffuse rather than punctuate intracellular bodies in abcb19 (pgp19), and some aggregations of PIN1 induced by short-term BFA treatment did not disperse after BFA washout in abcb19. Although the subcellular localisations of ABCB19 and PIN1 in the reciprocal mutant backgrounds were like those in wild type, PIN1 plasma membrane localisation in abcb19 roots was more easily perturbed by the detergent Triton X-100, but not other non-ionic detergents. ABCB19 is stably associated with sterol/sphingolipid-enriched membrane fractions containing BIG/TIR3 and partitions into Triton X-100 detergent-resistant membrane (DRM) fractions. In the wild type, PIN1 was also present in DRMs, but was less abundant in abcb19 DRMs. These observations suggested a rationale for the observed lack of auxin transport activity when PIN1 is expressed in a non-plant heterologous system. PIN1 was therefore expressed in Schizosaccharomyces pombe, which has plant-like sterol-enriched microdomains, and catalysed auxin transport in these cells. These data suggest that ABCB19 stabilises PIN1 localisation at the plasma membrane in discrete cellular subdomains where PIN1 and ABCB19 expression overlaps.

Parasitic Nematodes Modulate PIN-mediated Auxin Transport to Facilitate Infection

PLoS Pathogens. Jan, 2009  |  Pubmed ID: 19148279

Plant-parasitic nematodes are destructive plant pathogens that cause significant yield losses. They induce highly specialized feeding sites (NFS) in infected plant roots from which they withdraw nutrients. In order to establish these NFS, it is thought that the nematodes manipulate the molecular and physiological pathways of their hosts. Evidence is accumulating that the plant signalling molecule auxin is involved in the initiation and development of the feeding sites of sedentary plant-parasitic nematodes. Intercellular transport of auxin is essential for various aspects of plant growth and development. Here, we analysed the spatial and temporal expression of PIN auxin transporters during the early events of NFS establishment using promoter-GUS/GFP fusion lines. Additionally, single and double pin mutants were used in infection studies to analyse the role of the different PIN proteins during cyst nematode infection. Based on our results, we postulate a model in which PIN1-mediated auxin transport is needed to deliver auxin to the initial syncytial cell, whereas PIN3 and PIN4 distribute the accumulated auxin laterally and are involved in the radial expansion of the NFS. Our data demonstrate that cyst nematodes are able to hijack the auxin distribution network in order to facilitate the infection process.

Cytokinins Modulate Auxin-induced Organogenesis in Plants Via Regulation of the Auxin Efflux

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. Mar, 2009  |  Pubmed ID: 19211794

Postembryonic de novo organogenesis represents an important competence evolved in plants that allows their physiological and developmental adaptation to changing environmental conditions. The phytohormones auxin and cytokinin (CK) are important regulators of the developmental fate of pluripotent plant cells. However, the molecular nature of their interaction(s) in control of plant organogenesis is largely unknown. Here, we show that CK modulates auxin-induced organogenesis (AIO) via regulation of the efflux-dependent intercellular auxin distribution. We used the hypocotyl explants-based in vitro system to study the mechanism underlying de novo organogenesis. We show that auxin, but not CK, is capable of triggering organogenesis in hypocotyl explants. The AIO is accompanied by endogenous CK production and tissue-specific activation of CK signaling. CK affects differential auxin distribution, and the CK-mediated modulation of organogenesis is simulated by inhibition of polar auxin transport. CK reduces auxin efflux from cultured tobacco cells and regulates expression of auxin efflux carriers from the PIN family in hypocotyl explants. Moreover, endogenous CK levels influence PIN transcription and are necessary to maintain intercellular auxin distribution in planta. Based on these findings, we propose a model in which auxin acts as a trigger of the organogenic processes, whose output is modulated by the endogenously produced CKs. We propose that an important mechanism of this CK action is its effect on auxin distribution via regulation of expression of auxin efflux carriers.

Fluorescence Imaging-based Screen Identifies ARF GEF Component of Early Endosomal Trafficking

Current Biology : CB. Mar, 2009  |  Pubmed ID: 19230664

Endocytic vesicle trafficking is crucial for regulating activity and localization of plasma membrane components, but the process is still poorly genetically defined in plants. Membrane proteins of the PIN-FORMED (PIN) family exhibit polar localization in plant cells and facilitate cellular efflux of the plant hormone auxin, thereby regulating multiple developmental processes. PIN proteins undergo constitutive endocytosis and GNOM ARF GEF-dependent recycling, and their localization is under extensive regulation by developmental and environmental cues. We designed a fluorescence imaging-based screen to identify Arabidopsis thaliana mutants defective in internalization of proteins including PINs from the plasma membrane. We identified three mutant loci, BFA-visualized endocytic trafficking defective1 (ben1) through ben3 that do not efficiently accumulate PIN1-GFP in intracellular compartments after inhibition of recycling and secretion by fungal toxin brefeldin A (BFA). Fine mapping revealed that BEN1 encodes an ARF GEF vesicle trafficking regulator from the functionally uncharacterized BIG class. ben1 mutant has been previously implicated in pathogen response and shows cell polarity, BFA sensitivity, and growth defects. BEN1 is involved in endocytosis of plasma membrane proteins and localizes to early endocytic compartments distinct from GNOM-positive endosomes. Our results identify BEN1 as the ARF GEF mediating early endosomal traffic.

Cytokinin Regulates Root Meristem Activity Via Modulation of the Polar Auxin Transport

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. Mar, 2009  |  Pubmed ID: 19246387

Plant development is governed by signaling molecules called phytohormones. Typically, in certain developmental processes more than 1 hormone is implicated and, thus, coordination of their overlapping activities is crucial for correct plant development. However, molecular mechanisms underlying the hormonal crosstalk are only poorly understood. Multiple hormones including cytokinin and auxin have been implicated in the regulation of root development. Here we dissect the roles of cytokinin in modulating growth of the primary root. We show that cytokinin effect on root elongation occurs through ethylene signaling whereas cytokinin effect on the root meristem size involves ethylene-independent modulation of transport-dependent asymmetric auxin distribution. Exogenous or endogenous modification of cytokinin levels and cytokinin signaling lead to specific changes in transcription of several auxin efflux carrier genes from the PIN family having a direct impact on auxin efflux from cultured cells and on auxin distribution in the root apex. We propose a novel model for cytokinin action in regulating root growth: Cytokinin influences cell-to-cell auxin transport by modification of expression of several auxin transport components and thus modulates auxin distribution important for regulation of activity and size of the root meristem.

A Morphogenetic Trigger: is There an Emerging Concept in Plant Developmental Biology?

Trends in Plant Science. Apr, 2009  |  Pubmed ID: 19285906

Morphogens are involved in the establishment of positional information that is essential for pattern formation. In plants, the phytohormone auxin displays some characteristics of a morphogen. Gradients of auxin distribution are required for tissue patterning within the embryo and the root apex. In some other instances, such as de novo organogenesis, auxin action can be better described in terms of a morphogenetic trigger, which is defined as a factor that induces, through local increase of its concentration, acquisition of a new developmental fate in plant cells that were originally similar to their neighbours. A morphogenetic trigger specifies the site where a new organ will be formed. In plants, formation of reiterative and modular structures might need the action of both morphogenetic triggers and morphogens.

Auxin: a Trigger for Change in Plant Development

Cell. Mar, 2009  |  Pubmed ID: 19303845

The dynamic, differential distribution of the hormone auxin within plant tissues controls an impressive variety of developmental processes, which tailor plant growth and morphology to environmental conditions. Various environmental and endogenous signals can be integrated into changes in auxin distribution through their effects on local auxin biosynthesis and intercellular auxin transport. Individual cells interpret auxin largely by a nuclear signaling pathway that involves the F box protein TIR1 acting as an auxin receptor. Auxin-dependent TIR1 activity leads to ubiquitination-based degradation of transcriptional repressors and complex transcriptional reprogramming. Thus, auxin appears to be a versatile trigger of preprogrammed developmental changes in plant cells.

SnapShot: Auxin Signaling and Transport

Cell. Mar, 2009  |  Pubmed ID: 19303857

Phosphoinositide-dependent Regulation of VAN3 ARF-GAP Localization and Activity Essential for Vascular Tissue Continuity in Plants

Development (Cambridge, England). May, 2009  |  Pubmed ID: 19363154

ACAP-type ARF GTPase activating proteins (ARF-GAPs) regulate multiple cellular processes, including endocytosis, secretion, phagocytosis, cell adhesion and cell migration. However, the regulation of ACAP functions by other cellular proteins is poorly understood. We have reported previously that a plant ACAP, VAN3, plays a pivotal role in plant venation continuity. Here, we report on newly identified VAN3 regulators: the CVP2 (cotyledon vascular pattern 2) 5 PTase, which is considered to degrade IP(3) and also to produce PtdIns(4)P from PtdIns(4,5)P(2); and a PH domain-containing protein, VAB (VAN3 binding protein). Combinational mutations of both CVP2 and its closest homologue CVL1 (CVP2 like 1) phenocopied the strong allele of van3 mutants, showing severe vascular continuity. The phenotype of double mutants between van3, cvp2 and vab suggested that VAN3, CVP2 and VAB function in vascular pattern formation in the same pathway. Localization analysis revealed that both CVP2 and VAB colocalize with VAN3 in the trans-Golgi network (TGN), supporting their functions in the same pathway. The subcellular localization of VAN3 was dependent on its PH domain, and mislocalization of VAN3 was induced in cvp2 or vab mutants. These results suggest that CVP2 and VAB cooperatively regulate the subcellular localization of VAN3 through the interaction between its PH domain and phosphoinositides and/or inositol phosphates. In addition, PtdIns(4)P, to which VAN3 binds preferentially, enhanced the ARF-GAP activity of VAN3, whereas IP(3) inhibited it. These results suggest the existence of PtdIns(4)P and/or IP(3)-dependent subcellular targeting and regulation of VAN3 ACAP activity that governs plant vascular tissue continuity.

Auxin and Other Signals on the Move in Plants

Nature Chemical Biology. May, 2009  |  Pubmed ID: 19377459

As multicellular organisms, plants, like animals, use endogenous signaling molecules to coordinate their own physiology and development. To compensate for the absence of a cardiovascular system, plants have evolved specialized transport pathways to distribute signals and nutrients. The main transport streams include the xylem flow of the nutrients from the root to the shoot and the phloem flow of materials from the photosynthetic active tissues. These long-distance transport processes are complemented by several intercellular transport mechanisms (apoplastic, symplastic and transcellular transport). A prominent example of transcellular flow is transport of the phytohormone auxin within tissues. The process is mediated by influx and efflux carriers, whose polar localization in the plasma membrane determines the directionality of the flow. This polar auxin transport generates auxin maxima and gradients within tissues that are instrumental in the diverse regulation of various plant developmental processes, including embryogenesis, organogenesis, vascular tissue formation and tropisms.

A Regulated Auxin Minimum is Required for Seed Dispersal in Arabidopsis

Nature. May, 2009  |  Pubmed ID: 19478783

Local hormone maxima are essential for the development of multicellular structures and organs. For example, steroid hormones accumulate in specific cell types of the animal fetus to induce sexual differentiation and concentration peaks of the plant hormone auxin direct organ initiation and mediate tissue patterning. Here we provide an example of a regulated local hormone minimum required during organogenesis. Our results demonstrate that formation of a local auxin minimum is necessary for specification of the valve margin separation layer where Arabidopsis fruit opening takes place. Consequently, ectopic production of auxin, specifically in valve margin cells, leads to a complete loss of proper cell fate determination. The valve margin identity factor INDEHISCENT (IND) is responsible for forming the auxin minimum by coordinating auxin efflux in separation-layer cells. We propose that the simplicity of formation and maintenance make local hormone minima particularly well suited to specify a small number of cells such as the stripes at the valve margins.

Subcellular Homeostasis of Phytohormone Auxin is Mediated by the ER-localized PIN5 Transporter

Nature. Jun, 2009  |  Pubmed ID: 19506555

The plant signalling molecule auxin provides positional information in a variety of developmental processes by means of its differential distribution (gradients) within plant tissues. Thus, cellular auxin levels often determine the developmental output of auxin signalling. Conceptually, transmembrane transport and metabolic processes regulate the steady-state levels of auxin in any given cell. In particular, PIN auxin-efflux-carrier-mediated, directional transport between cells is crucial for generating auxin gradients. Here we show that Arabidopsis thaliana PIN5, an atypical member of the PIN gene family, encodes a functional auxin transporter that is required for auxin-mediated development. PIN5 does not have a direct role in cell-to-cell transport but regulates intracellular auxin homeostasis and metabolism. PIN5 localizes, unlike other characterized plasma membrane PIN proteins, to endoplasmic reticulum (ER), presumably mediating auxin flow from the cytosol to the lumen of the ER. The ER localization of other PIN5-like transporters (including the moss PIN) indicates that the diversification of PIN protein functions in mediating auxin homeostasis at the ER, and cell-to-cell auxin transport at the plasma membrane, represent an ancient event during the evolution of land plants.

Auxin Transport Routes in Plant Development

Development (Cambridge, England). Aug, 2009  |  Pubmed ID: 19633168

The differential distribution of the plant signaling molecule auxin is required for many aspects of plant development. Local auxin maxima and gradients arise as a result of local auxin metabolism and, predominantly, from directional cell-to-cell transport. In this primer, we discuss how the coordinated activity of several auxin influx and efflux systems, which transport auxin across the plasma membrane, mediates directional auxin flow. This activity crucially contributes to the correct setting of developmental cues in embryogenesis, organogenesis, vascular tissue formation and directional growth in response to environmental stimuli.

Cell Biology

Current Opinion in Plant Biology. Dec, 2009  |  Pubmed ID: 19926333

PIN Auxin Efflux Carrier Polarity is Regulated by PINOID Kinase-mediated Recruitment into GNOM-independent Trafficking in Arabidopsis

The Plant Cell. Dec, 2009  |  Pubmed ID: 20040538

The phytohormone auxin plays a major role in embryonic and postembryonic plant development. The temporal and spatial distribution of auxin largely depends on the subcellular polar localization of members of the PIN-FORMED (PIN) auxin efflux carrier family. The Ser/Thr protein kinase PINOID (PID) catalyzes PIN phosphorylation and crucially contributes to the regulation of apical-basal PIN polarity. The GTP exchange factor on ADP-ribosylation factors (ARF-GEF), GNOM preferentially mediates PIN recycling at the basal side of the cell. Interference with GNOM activity leads to dynamic PIN transcytosis between different sides of the cell. Our genetic, pharmacological, and cell biological approaches illustrate that PID and GNOM influence PIN polarity and plant development in an antagonistic manner and that the PID-dependent PIN phosphorylation results in GNOM-independent polar PIN targeting. The data suggest that PID and the protein phosphatase 2A not only regulate the static PIN polarity, but also act antagonistically on the rate of GNOM-dependent polar PIN transcytosis. We propose a model that includes PID-dependent PIN phosphorylation at the plasma membrane and the subsequent sorting of PIN proteins to a GNOM-independent pathway for polarity alterations during developmental processes, such as lateral root formation and leaf vasculature development.

The PIN-FORMED (PIN) Protein Family of Auxin Transporters

Genome Biology. 2009  |  Pubmed ID: 20053306

The PIN-FORMED (PIN) proteins are secondary transporters acting in the efflux of the plant signal molecule auxin from cells. They are asymmetrically localized within cells and their polarity determines the directionality of intercellular auxin flow. PIN genes are found exclusively in the genomes of multicellular plants and play an important role in regulating asymmetric auxin distribution in multiple developmental processes, including embryogenesis, organogenesis, tissue differentiation and tropic responses. All PIN proteins have a similar structure with amino- and carboxy-terminal hydrophobic, membrane-spanning domains separated by a central hydrophilic domain. The structure of the hydrophobic domains is well conserved. The hydrophilic domain is more divergent and it determines eight groups within the protein family. The activity of PIN proteins is regulated at multiple levels, including transcription, protein stability, subcellular localization and transport activity. Different endogenous and environmental signals can modulate PIN activity and thus modulate auxin-distribution-dependent development. A large group of PIN proteins, including the most ancient members known from mosses, localize to the endoplasmic reticulum and they regulate the subcellular compartmentalization of auxin and thus auxin metabolism. Further work is needed to establish the physiological importance of this unexpected mode of auxin homeostasis regulation. Furthermore, the evolution of PIN-based transport, PIN protein structure and more detailed biochemical characterization of the transport function are important topics for further studies.

Subcellular Trafficking of PIN Auxin Efflux Carriers in Auxin Transport

European Journal of Cell Biology. Feb-Mar, 2010  |  Pubmed ID: 19944476

The directional transport of the plant hormone auxin is a unique process mediating a wide variety of developmental processes. Auxin movement between cells depends on AUX1/LAX, PGP and PIN protein families that mediate auxin transport across the plasma membrane. The directionality of auxin flow within tissues is largely determined by polar, subcellular localization of PIN auxin efflux carriers. PIN proteins undergo rapid subcellular dynamics that is important for the process of auxin transport and its directionality. Furthermore, various environmental and endogenous signals can modulate trafficking and polarity of PIN proteins and by this mechanism change auxin distribution. Thus, the subcellular dynamics of auxin transport proteins represents an important interface between cellular processes and development of the whole plant. This review summarizes our recent contributions to the field of PIN trafficking and auxin transport regulation.

Probing Plant Membranes with FM Dyes: Tracking, Dragging or Blocking?

The Plant Journal : for Cell and Molecular Biology. Mar, 2010  |  Pubmed ID: 20003134

Remarkable progress in various techniques of in vivo fluorescence microscopy has brought an urgent need for reliable markers for tracking cellular structures and processes. The goal of this manuscript is to describe unexplored effects of the FM (Fei Mao) styryl dyes, which are widely used probes that label processes of endocytosis and vesicle trafficking in eukaryotic cells. Although there are few reports on the effect of styryl dyes on membrane fluidity and the activity of mammalian receptors, FM dyes have been considered as reliable tools for tracking of plant endocytosis. Using plasma membrane-localized transporters for the plant hormone auxin in tobacco BY-2 and Arabidopsis thaliana cell suspensions, we show that routinely used concentrations of FM 4-64 and FM 5-95 trigger transient re-localization of these proteins, and FM 1-43 affects their activity. The active process of re-localization is blocked neither by inhibitors of endocytosis nor by cytoskeletal drugs. It does not occur in A. thaliana roots and depends on the degree of hydrophobicity (lipophilicity) of a particular FM dye. Our results emphasize the need for circumspection during in vivo studies of membrane proteins performed using simultaneous labelling with FM dyes.

PIN Phosphorylation is Sufficient to Mediate PIN Polarity and Direct Auxin Transport

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. Jan, 2010  |  Pubmed ID: 20080776

The plant hormone auxin plays a crucial role in regulating plant development and plant architecture. The directional auxin distribution within tissues depends on PIN transporters that are polarly localized on the plasma membrane. The PIN polarity and the resulting auxin flow directionality are mediated by the antagonistic actions of PINOID kinase and protein phosphatase 2A. However, the contribution of the PIN phosphorylation to the polar PIN sorting is still unclear. Here, we identified an evolutionarily conserved phosphorylation site within the central hydrophilic loop of PIN proteins that is important for the apical and basal polar PIN localizations. Inactivation of the phosphorylation site in PIN1(Ala) resulted in a predominantly basal targeting and increased the auxin flow to the root tip. In contrast, the outcome of the phosphomimic PIN1(Asp) manipulation was a constitutive, PINOID-independent apical targeting of PIN1 and an increased auxin flow in the opposite direction. Furthermore, the PIN1(Asp) functionally replaced PIN2 in its endogenous expression domain, revealing that the phosphorylation-dependent polarity regulation contributes to functional diversification within the PIN family. Our data suggest that PINOID-independent PIN phosphorylation at one single site is adequate to change the PIN polarity and, consequently, to redirect auxin fluxes between cells and provide the conceptual possibility and means to manipulate auxin-dependent plant development and architecture.

A Rho Scaffold Integrates the Secretory System with Feedback Mechanisms in Regulation of Auxin Distribution

PLoS Biology. Jan, 2010  |  Pubmed ID: 20098722

Development in multicellular organisms depends on the ability of individual cells to coordinate their behavior by means of small signaling molecules to form correctly patterned tissues. In plants, a unique mechanism of directional transport of the signaling molecule auxin between cells connects cell polarity and tissue patterning and thus is required for many aspects of plant development. Direction of auxin flow is determined by polar subcellular localization of PIN auxin efflux transporters. Dynamic PIN polar localization results from the constitutive endocytic cycling to and from the plasma membrane, but it is not well understood how this mechanism connects to regulators of cell polarity. The Rho family small GTPases ROPs/RACs are master regulators of cell polarity, however their role in regulating polar protein trafficking and polar auxin transport has not been established. Here, by analysis of mutants and transgenic plants, we show that the ROP interactor and polarity regulator scaffold protein ICR1 is required for recruitment of PIN proteins to the polar domains at the plasma membrane. icr1 mutant embryos and plants display an a array of severe developmental aberrations that are caused by compromised differential auxin distribution. ICR1 functions at the plasma membrane where it is required for exocytosis but does not recycle together with PINs. ICR1 expression is quickly induced by auxin but is suppressed at the positions of stable auxin maxima in the hypophysis and later in the embryonic and mature root meristems. Our results imply that ICR1 is part of an auxin regulated positive feedback loop realized by a unique integration of auxin-dependent transcriptional regulation into ROP-mediated modulation of cell polarity. Thus, ICR1 forms an auxin-modulated link between cell polarity, exocytosis, and auxin transport-dependent tissue patterning.

Role of PIN-mediated Auxin Efflux in Apical Hook Development of Arabidopsis Thaliana

Development (Cambridge, England). Feb, 2010  |  Pubmed ID: 20110326

The apical hook of dark-grown Arabidopsis seedlings is a simple structure that develops soon after germination to protect the meristem tissues during emergence through the soil and that opens upon exposure to light. Differential growth at the apical hook proceeds in three sequential steps that are regulated by multiple hormones, principally auxin and ethylene. We show that the progress of the apical hook through these developmental phases depends on the dynamic, asymmetric distribution of auxin, which is regulated by auxin efflux carriers of the PIN family. Several PIN proteins exhibited specific, partially overlapping spatial and temporal expression patterns, and their subcellular localization suggested auxin fluxes during hook development. Genetic manipulation of individual PIN activities interfered with different stages of hook development, implying that specific combinations of PIN genes are required for progress of the apical hook through the developmental phases. Furthermore, ethylene might modulate apical hook development by prolonging the formation phase and strongly suppressing the maintenance phase. This ethylene effect is in part mediated by regulation of PIN-dependent auxin efflux and auxin signaling.

Trafficking to the Outer Polar Domain Defines the Root-soil Interface

Current Biology : CB. May, 2010  |  Pubmed ID: 20451385

In animals, the interface between organism and environment is constituted by the epithelium. In plants, the exchange of nutrients and signals between root and soil is crucial for their survival, but the cellular mechanisms underlying the epithelium-like function and specific localization of proteins to the root surface have not been identified. Here we analyze the mechanism of polar delivery to the root-soil interface of the proteins BOR4, ABCG37, and PEN3, which transport nutrients, transport plant hormones, and are required for pathogen defense, respectively. The simultaneous visualization of these proteins and the apical and basal cargos in a single cell demonstrates that the outermost cell side represents an additional polar domain. Delivery to this outer polar domain depends on ARF GEF and actin function but does not require known molecular components of the apical or basal targeting. The outer polar delivery is, in contrast to known basal and apical cargos, mediated by the polar secretion. Our findings show that the outermost cell membranes of roots define an additional polar domain in plant cells along with a specific, previously uncharacterized, polar targeting mechanism that is important for defining the functional, epithelium-like root-soil interface.

Arabidopsis PIS1 Encodes the ABCG37 Transporter of Auxinic Compounds Including the Auxin Precursor Indole-3-butyric Acid

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. Jun, 2010  |  Pubmed ID: 20498067

Differential distribution of the plant hormone auxin within tissues mediates a variety of developmental processes. Cellular auxin levels are determined by metabolic processes including synthesis, degradation, and (de)conjugation, as well as by auxin transport across the plasma membrane. Whereas transport of free auxins such as naturally occurring indole-3-acetic acid (IAA) is well characterized, little is known about the transport of auxin precursors and metabolites. Here, we identify a mutation in the ABCG37 gene of Arabidopsis that causes the polar auxin transport inhibitor sensitive1 (pis1) phenotype manifested by hypersensitivity to auxinic compounds. ABCG37 encodes the pleiotropic drug resistance transporter that transports a range of synthetic auxinic compounds as well as the endogenous auxin precursor indole-3-butyric acid (IBA), but not free IAA. ABCG37 and its homolog ABCG36 act redundantly at outermost root plasma membranes and, unlike established IAA transporters from the PIN and ABCB families, transport IBA out of the cells. Our findings explore possible novel modes of regulating auxin homeostasis and plant development by means of directional transport of the auxin precursor IBA and presumably also other auxin metabolites.

Auxin Regulates Distal Stem Cell Differentiation in Arabidopsis Roots

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. Jun, 2010  |  Pubmed ID: 20543136

The stem cell niche in the root meristem is critical for the development of the plant root system. The plant hormone auxin acts as a versatile trigger in many developmental processes, including the regulation of root growth, but its role in the control of the stem cell activity remains largely unclear. Here we show that local auxin levels, determined by biosynthesis and intercellular transport, mediate maintenance or differentiation of distal stem cells in the Arabidopsis thaliana roots. Genetic analysis shows that auxin acts upstream of the major regulators of the stem cell activity, the homeodomain transcription factor WOX5, and the AP-2 transcription factor PLETHORA. Auxin signaling for differentiation of distal stem cells requires the transcriptional repressor IAA17/AXR3 as well as the ARF10 and ARF16 auxin response factors. ARF10 and ARF16 activities repress the WOX5 transcription and restrict it to the quiescent center, where WOX5, in turn, is needed for the activity of PLETHORA. Our investigations reveal that long-distance auxin signals act upstream of the short-range network of transcriptional factors to mediate the differentiation of distal stem cells in roots.

Nitrate Contra Auxin: Nutrient Sensing by Roots

Developmental Cell. Jun, 2010  |  Pubmed ID: 20627068

In a new study published in this issue of Developmental Cell, Krouk et al. reveal a surprising mechanism by which plant root systems adapt their architecture for soil exploitation. The dual transporter NRT1.1 uses both nitrate and the plant hormone auxin as substrates, enabling soil nitrate availability to regulate auxin-driven lateral root development.

The GATA Factor HANABA TARANU is Required to Position the Proembryo Boundary in the Early Arabidopsis Embryo

Developmental Cell. Jul, 2010  |  Pubmed ID: 20643354

Division of the Arabidopsis zygote defines two fundamentally different developmental domains, the proembryo and suspensor. The resulting boundary separates domain-specific gene expression, and a signal originating from the proembryo instructs the suspensor to generate the root stem cell niche. While root induction is known to require the phytohormone auxin and the Auxin Response Factor MONOPTEROS, it has remained largely elusive how the two domains involved in this process are initially specified. Here, we show that the GATA factor HANABA TARANU (HAN) is required to position the inductive proembryo boundary. Mutations in HAN cause a coordinated apical shift of gene expression patterns, revealing that HAN regulates transcription in the basal proembryo. Key auxin transporters are affected as early as the 8 cell stage, resulting in apical redistribution of auxin. Remarkably, han embryos eventually organize a root independent of MONOPTEROS and the suspensor around a new boundary marked by the auxin maximum.

The March of the PINs: Developmental Plasticity by Dynamic Polar Targeting in Plant Cells

The EMBO Journal. Aug, 2010  |  Pubmed ID: 20717140

Development of plants and their adaptive capacity towards ever-changing environmental conditions largely depend on the spatial distribution of the plant hormone auxin. At the cellular level, various internal and external signals are translated into specific changes in the polar, subcellular localization of auxin transporters from the PIN family thereby directing and redirecting the intercellular fluxes of auxin. The current model of polar targeting of PIN proteins towards different plasma membrane domains encompasses apolar secretion of newly synthesized PINs followed by endocytosis and recycling back to the plasma membrane in a polarized manner. In this review, we follow the subcellular march of the PINs and highlight the cellular and molecular mechanisms behind polar foraging and subcellular trafficking pathways. Also, the entry points for different signals and regulations including by auxin itself will be discussed within the context of morphological and developmental consequences of polar targeting and subcellular trafficking.

The AP-3 β Adaptin Mediates the Biogenesis and Function of Lytic Vacuoles in Arabidopsis

The Plant Cell. Aug, 2010  |  Pubmed ID: 20729380

Plant vacuoles are essential multifunctional organelles largely distinct from similar organelles in other eukaryotes. Embryo protein storage vacuoles and the lytic vacuoles that perform a general degradation function are the best characterized, but little is known about the biogenesis and transition between these vacuolar types. Here, we designed a fluorescent marker-based forward genetic screen in Arabidopsis thaliana and identified a protein affected trafficking2 (pat2) mutant, whose lytic vacuoles display altered morphology and accumulation of proteins. Unlike other mutants affecting the vacuole, pat2 is specifically defective in the biogenesis, identity, and function of lytic vacuoles but shows normal sorting of proteins to storage vacuoles. PAT2 encodes a putative β-subunit of adaptor protein complex 3 (AP-3) that can partially complement the corresponding yeast mutant. Manipulations of the putative AP-3 β adaptin functions suggest a plant-specific role for the evolutionarily conserved AP-3 β in mediating lytic vacuole performance and transition of storage into the lytic vacuoles independently of the main prevacuolar compartment-based trafficking route.

Immunolocalization of Proteins in Plants

Methods in Molecular Biology (Clifton, N.J.). 2010  |  Pubmed ID: 20734266

Rapid advances in the field of plant biology, especially in plant cell biology, have created the need for methods that allow the localization of proteins in situ at subcellular resolution. Although in many cases recombinant proteins with fluorescent proteins can fulfill this task, antibody-based immunological detection of proteins is a complementary technique, which avoids the risk of inducing side effects by a fusion protein, such as misexpression, mistargeting, altered stability, or toxicity. Moreover, recombinant protein techniques are applicable only to a rather limited set of model plants. The immunolocalization protocols presented here can be used to display protein localization patterns in different tissues of various plant species. This chapter describes a whole mount immunolocalization protocol, which has been extensively used in Arabidopsis roots and some above-ground tissues, and that also works in other species. Additionally, for bulky or hard tissue types, a variation of this protocol for paraffin-embedded sections is given.

Plasma Membrane-bound AGC3 Kinases Phosphorylate PIN Auxin Carriers at TPRXS(N/S) Motifs to Direct Apical PIN Recycling

Development (Cambridge, England). Oct, 2010  |  Pubmed ID: 20823065

Polar membrane cargo delivery is crucial for establishing cell polarity and for directional transport processes. In plants, polar trafficking mediates the dynamic asymmetric distribution of PIN FORMED (PIN) carriers, which drive polar cell-to-cell transport of the hormone auxin, thereby generating auxin maxima and minima that control development. The Arabidopsis PINOID (PID) protein kinase instructs apical PIN localization by phosphorylating PINs. Here, we identified the PID homologs WAG1 and WAG2 as new PIN polarity regulators. We show that the AGC3 kinases PID, WAG1 and WAG2, and not other plant AGC kinases, instruct recruitment of PINs into the apical recycling pathway by phosphorylating the middle serine in three conserved TPRXS(N/S) motifs within the PIN central hydrophilic loop. Our results put forward a model by which apolarly localized PID, WAG1 and WAG2 phosphorylate PINs at the plasma membrane after default non-polar PIN secretion, and trigger endocytosis-dependent apical PIN recycling. This phosphorylation-triggered apical PIN recycling competes with ARF-GEF GNOM-dependent basal recycling to promote apical PIN localization. In planta, expression domains of PID, WAG1 and WAG2 correlate with apical localization of PINs in those cell types, indicating the importance of these kinases for apical PIN localization. Our data show that by directing polar PIN localization and PIN-mediated polar auxin transport, the three AGC3 kinases redundantly regulate cotyledon development, root meristem size and gravitropic response, indicating their involvement in both programmed and adaptive plant development.

Cell Surface- and Rho GTPase-based Auxin Signaling Controls Cellular Interdigitation in Arabidopsis

Cell. Oct, 2010  |  Pubmed ID: 20887895

Auxin is a multifunctional hormone essential for plant development and pattern formation. A nuclear auxin-signaling system controlling auxin-induced gene expression is well established, but cytoplasmic auxin signaling, as in its coordination of cell polarization, is unexplored. We found a cytoplasmic auxin-signaling mechanism that modulates the interdigitated growth of Arabidopsis leaf epidermal pavement cells (PCs), which develop interdigitated lobes and indentations to form a puzzle-piece shape in a two-dimensional plane. PC interdigitation is compromised in leaves deficient in either auxin biosynthesis or its export mediated by PINFORMED 1 localized at the lobe tip. Auxin coordinately activates two Rho GTPases, ROP2 and ROP6, which promote the formation of complementary lobes and indentations, respectively. Activation of these ROPs by auxin occurs within 30 s and depends on AUXIN-BINDING PROTEIN 1. These findings reveal Rho GTPase-based auxin-signaling mechanisms, which modulate the spatial coordination of cell expansion across a field of cells.

ABP1 Mediates Auxin Inhibition of Clathrin-dependent Endocytosis in Arabidopsis

Cell. Oct, 2010  |  Pubmed ID: 20887896

Spatial distribution of the plant hormone auxin regulates multiple aspects of plant development. These self-regulating auxin gradients are established by the action of PIN auxin transporters, whose activity is regulated by their constitutive cycling between the plasma membrane and endosomes. Here, we show that auxin signaling by the auxin receptor AUXIN-BINDING PROTEIN 1 (ABP1) inhibits the clathrin-mediated internalization of PIN proteins. ABP1 acts as a positive factor in clathrin recruitment to the plasma membrane, thereby promoting endocytosis. Auxin binding to ABP1 interferes with this action and leads to the inhibition of clathrin-mediated endocytosis. Our study demonstrates that ABP1 mediates a nontranscriptional auxin signaling that regulates the evolutionarily conserved process of clathrin-mediated endocytosis and suggests that this signaling may be essential for the developmentally important feedback of auxin on its own transport.

Endoplasmic Reticulum: the Rising Compartment in Auxin Biology

Plant Physiology. Oct, 2010  |  Pubmed ID: 20921163

ADP-ribosylation Factor Machinery Mediates Endocytosis in Plant Cells

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. Dec, 2010  |  Pubmed ID: 21118984

Endocytosis is crucial for various cellular functions and development of multicellular organisms. In mammals and yeast, ADP-ribosylation factor (ARF) GTPases, key components of vesicle formation, and their regulators ARF-guanine nucleotide exchange factors (GEFs) and ARF-GTPase-activating protein (GAPs) mediate endocytosis. A similar role has not been established in plants, mainly because of the lack of the canonical ARF and ARF-GEF components that are involved in endocytosis in other eukaryotes. In this study, we revealed a regulatory mechanism of endocytosis in plants based on ARF GTPase activity. We identified that ARF-GEF GNOM and ARF-GAP vascular network defective 3 (VAN3), both of which are involved in polar auxin transport-dependent morphogenesis, localize at the plasma membranes as well as in intracellular structures. Variable angle epifluorescence microscopy revealed that GNOM and VAN3 localize to partially overlapping discrete foci at the plasma membranes that are regularly associated with the endocytic vesicle coat clathrin. Genetic studies revealed that GNOM and VAN3 activities are required for endocytosis and internalization of plasma membrane proteins, including PIN-FORMED auxin transporters. These findings identified ARF GTPase-based regulatory mechanisms for endocytosis in plants. GNOM and VAN3 previously were proposed to function solely at the recycling endosomes and trans-Golgi networks, respectively. Therefore our findings uncovered an additional cellular function of these prominent developmental regulators.

Gravity-induced PIN Transcytosis for Polarization of Auxin Fluxes in Gravity-sensing Root Cells

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. Dec, 2010  |  Pubmed ID: 21135243

Auxin is an essential plant-specific regulator of patterning processes that also controls directional growth of roots and shoots. In response to gravity stimulation, the PIN3 auxin transporter polarizes to the bottom side of gravity-sensing root cells, presumably redirecting the auxin flux toward the lower side of the root and triggering gravitropic bending. By combining live-cell imaging techniques with pharmacological and genetic approaches, we demonstrate that PIN3 polarization does not require secretion of de novo synthesized proteins or protein degradation, but instead involves rapid, transient stimulation of PIN endocytosis, presumably via a clathrin-dependent pathway. Moreover, gravity-induced PIN3 polarization requires the activity of the guanine nucleotide exchange factors for ARF GTPases (ARF-GEF) GNOM-dependent polar-targeting pathways and might involve endosome-based PIN3 translocation from one cell side to another. Our data suggest that gravity perception acts at several instances of PIN3 trafficking, ultimately leading to the polarization of PIN3, which presumably aligns auxin fluxes with gravity vector and mediates downstream root gravitropic response.

Emergence of Tissue Polarization from Synergy of Intracellular and Extracellular Auxin Signaling

Molecular Systems Biology. Dec, 2010  |  Pubmed ID: 21179019

Plant development is exceptionally flexible as manifested by its potential for organogenesis and regeneration, which are processes involving rearrangements of tissue polarities. Fundamental questions concern how individual cells can polarize in a coordinated manner to integrate into the multicellular context. In canalization models, the signaling molecule auxin acts as a polarizing cue, and feedback on the intercellular auxin flow is key for synchronized polarity rearrangements. We provide a novel mechanistic framework for canalization, based on up-to-date experimental data and minimal, biologically plausible assumptions. Our model combines the intracellular auxin signaling for expression of PINFORMED (PIN) auxin transporters and the theoretical postulation of extracellular auxin signaling for modulation of PIN subcellular dynamics. Computer simulations faithfully and robustly recapitulated the experimentally observed patterns of tissue polarity and asymmetric auxin distribution during formation and regeneration of vascular systems and during the competitive regulation of shoot branching by apical dominance. Additionally, our model generated new predictions that could be experimentally validated, highlighting a mechanistically conceivable explanation for the PIN polarization and canalization of the auxin flow in plants.

Competitive Canalization of PIN-dependent Auxin Flow from Axillary Buds Controls Pea Bud Outgrowth

The Plant Journal : for Cell and Molecular Biology. Feb, 2011  |  Pubmed ID: 21219506

Shoot branching is one of the major determinants of plant architecture. Polar auxin transport in stems is necessary for the control of bud outgrowth by a dominant apex. Here, we show that following decapitation in pea (Pisum sativum L.), the axillary buds establish directional auxin export by subcellular polarization of PIN auxin transporters. Apical auxin application on the decapitated stem prevents this PIN polarization and canalization of laterally applied auxin. These results support a model in which the apical and lateral auxin sources compete for primary channels of auxin transport in the stem to control the outgrowth of axillary buds.

PIN Polarity Maintenance by the Cell Wall in Arabidopsis

Current Biology : CB. Feb, 2011  |  Pubmed ID: 21315597

A central question in developmental biology concerns the mechanism of generation and maintenance of cell polarity, because these processes are essential for many cellular functions and multicellular development. In plants, cell polarity has an additional role in mediating directional transport of the plant hormone auxin that is crucial for multiple developmental processes. In addition, plant cells have a complex extracellular matrix, the cell wall, whose role in regulating cellular processes, including cell polarity, is unexplored. We have found that polar distribution of PIN auxin transporters in plant cells is maintained by connections between polar domains at the plasma membrane and the cell wall. Genetic and pharmacological interference with cellulose, the major component of the cell wall, or mechanical interference with the cell wall disrupts these connections and leads to increased lateral diffusion and loss of polar distribution of PIN transporters for the phytohormone auxin. Our results reveal a plant-specific mechanism for cell polarity maintenance and provide a conceptual framework for modulating cell polarity and plant development via endogenous and environmental manipulations of the cellulose-based extracellular matrix.

Light-mediated Polarization of the PIN3 Auxin Transporter for the Phototropic Response in Arabidopsis

Nature Cell Biology. Apr, 2011  |  Pubmed ID: 21394084

Phototropism is an adaptation response, through which plants grow towards the light. It involves light perception and asymmetric distribution of the plant hormone auxin. Here we identify a crucial part of the mechanism for phototropism, revealing how light perception initiates auxin redistribution that leads to directional growth. We show that light polarizes the cellular localization of the auxin efflux carrier PIN3 in hypocotyl endodermis cells, resulting in changes in auxin distribution and differential growth. In the dark, high expression and activity of the PINOID (PID) kinase correlates with apolar targeting of PIN3 to all cell sides. Following illumination, light represses PINOID transcription and PIN3 is polarized specifically to the inner cell sides by GNOM ARF GTPase GEF (guanine nucleotide exchange factor)-dependent trafficking. Thus, differential trafficking at the shaded and illuminated hypocotyl side aligns PIN3 polarity with the light direction, and presumably redirects auxin flow towards the shaded side, where auxin promotes growth, causing hypocotyls to bend towards the light. Our results imply that PID phosphorylation-dependent recruitment of PIN proteins into distinct trafficking pathways is a mechanism to polarize auxin fluxes in response to different environmental and endogenous cues.

ARF1 Localizes to the Golgi and the Trans-golgi Network

The Plant Cell. Mar, 2011  |  Pubmed ID: 21406621

Phosphorylation Switch Modulates the Interdigitated Pattern of PIN1 Localization and Cell Expansion in Arabidopsis Leaf Epidermis

Cell Research. Jun, 2011  |  Pubmed ID: 21423279

Within a multicellular tissue cells may coordinately form a singular or multiple polar axes, but it is unclear whether a common mechanism governs different types of polar axis formation. The phosphorylation status of PIN proteins, which is directly affected by the PINOID (PID) protein kinase and the PP2A protein phosphatase, is known to regulate the apical-basal polarity of PIN localization in bipolar cells of roots and shoot apices. Here, we provide evidence that the phosphorylation status-mediated PIN polarity switch is widely used to modulate cellular processes in Arabidopsis including multipolar pavement cells (PC) with interdigitated lobes and indentations. The degree of PC interdigitation was greatly reduced either when the FYPP1 gene, which encodes a PP2A called phytochrome-associated serine/threonine protein phosphatase, was knocked out or when the PID gene was overexpressed (35S::PID). These genetic modifications caused PIN1 localization to switch from lobe to indentation regions. The PP2A and PID mediated switching of PIN1 localization is strikingly similar to their regulation of the apical-basal polarity switch of PIN proteins in other cells. Our findings suggest a common mechanism for the regulation of PIN1 polarity formation, a fundamental cellular process that is crucial for pattern formation both at the tissue/organ and cellular levels.

Polar-localized NPH3-like Proteins Regulate Polarity and Endocytosis of PIN-FORMED Auxin Efflux Carriers

Development (Cambridge, England). May, 2011  |  Pubmed ID: 21490067

PIN-FORMED (PIN)-dependent auxin transport is essential for plant development and its modulation in response to the environment or endogenous signals. A NON-PHOTOTROPIC HYPOCOTYL 3 (NPH3)-like protein, MACCHI-BOU 4 (MAB4), has been shown to control PIN1 localization during organ formation, but its contribution is limited. The Arabidopsis genome contains four genes, MAB4/ENP/NPY1-LIKE1 (MEL1), MEL2, MEL3 and MEL4, highly homologous to MAB4. Genetic analysis disclosed functional redundancy between MAB4 and MEL genes in regulation of not only organ formation but also of root gravitropism, revealing that NPH3 family proteins have a wider range of functions than previously suspected. Multiple mutants showed severe reduction in PIN abundance and PIN polar localization, leading to defective expression of an auxin responsive marker DR5rev::GFP. Pharmacological analyses and fluorescence recovery after photo-bleaching experiments showed that mel mutations increase PIN2 internalization from the plasma membrane, but affect neither intracellular PIN2 trafficking nor PIN2 lateral diffusion at the plasma membrane. Notably, all MAB4 subfamily proteins show polar localization at the cell periphery in plants. The MAB4 polarity was almost identical to PIN polarity. Our results suggest that the MAB4 subfamily proteins specifically retain PIN proteins in a polarized manner at the plasma membrane, thus controlling directional auxin transport and plant development.

Clathrin Mediates Endocytosis and Polar Distribution of PIN Auxin Transporters in Arabidopsis

The Plant Cell. May, 2011  |  Pubmed ID: 21551390

Endocytosis is a crucial mechanism by which eukaryotic cells internalize extracellular and plasma membrane material, and it is required for a multitude of cellular and developmental processes in unicellular and multicellular organisms. In animals and yeast, the best characterized pathway for endocytosis depends on the function of the vesicle coat protein clathrin. Clathrin-mediated endocytosis has recently been demonstrated also in plant cells, but its physiological and developmental roles remain unclear. Here, we assessed the roles of the clathrin-mediated mechanism of endocytosis in plants by genetic means. We interfered with clathrin heavy chain (CHC) function through mutants and dominant-negative approaches in Arabidopsis thaliana and established tools to manipulate clathrin function in a cell type-specific manner. The chc2 single mutants and dominant-negative CHC1 (HUB) transgenic lines were defective in bulk endocytosis as well as in internalization of prominent plasma membrane proteins. Interference with clathrin-mediated endocytosis led to defects in constitutive endocytic recycling of PIN auxin transporters and their polar distribution in embryos and roots. Consistent with this, these lines had altered auxin distribution patterns and associated auxin transport-related phenotypes, such as aberrant embryo patterning, imperfect cotyledon specification, agravitropic growth, and impaired lateral root organogenesis. Together, these data demonstrate a fundamental role for clathrin function in cell polarity, growth, patterning, and organogenesis in plants.

Auxin Minimum Defines a Developmental Window for Lateral Root Initiation

The New Phytologist. Sep, 2011  |  Pubmed ID: 21569034

Root system architecture depends on lateral root (LR) initiation that takes place in a relatively narrow developmental window (DW). Here, we analyzed the role of auxin gradients established along the parent root in defining this DW for LR initiation. Correlations between auxin distribution and response, and spatiotemporal control of LR initiation were analyzed in Arabidopsis thaliana and tomato (Solanum lycopersicum). In both Arabidopsis and tomato roots, a well defined zone, where auxin content and response are minimal, demarcates the position of a DW for founder cell specification and LR initiation. We show that in the zone of auxin minimum pericycle cells have highest probability to become founder cells and that auxin perception via the TIR1/AFB pathway, and polar auxin transport, are essential for the establishment of this zone. Altogether, this study reveals that the same morphogen-like molecule, auxin, can act simultaneously as a morphogenetic trigger of LR founder cell identity and as a gradient-dependent signal defining positioning of the founder cell specification. This auxin minimum zone might represent an important control mechanism ensuring the LR initiation steadiness and the acropetal LR initiation pattern.

Polarization of PIN3-dependent Auxin Transport for Hypocotyl Gravitropic Response in Arabidopsis Thaliana

The Plant Journal : for Cell and Molecular Biology. Sep, 2011  |  Pubmed ID: 21569134

Gravitropism aligns plant growth with gravity. It involves gravity perception and the asymmetric distribution of the phytohormone auxin. Here we provide insights into the mechanism for hypocotyl gravitropic growth. We show that the Arabidopsis thaliana PIN3 auxin transporter is required for the asymmetric auxin distribution for the gravitropic response. Gravistimulation polarizes PIN3 to the bottom side of hypocotyl endodermal cells, which correlates with an increased auxin response at the lower hypocotyl side. Both PIN3 polarization and hypocotyl bending require the activity of the trafficking regulator GNOM and the protein kinase PINOID. Our data suggest that gravity-induced PIN3 polarization diverts the auxin flow to mediate the asymmetric distribution of auxin for gravitropic shoot bending.

A Mutually Inhibitory Interaction Between Auxin and Cytokinin Specifies Vascular Pattern in Roots

Current Biology : CB. Jun, 2011  |  Pubmed ID: 21620702

Whereas the majority of animals develop toward a predetermined body plan, plants show iterative growth and continually produce new organs and structures from actively dividing meristems. This raises an intriguing question: How are these newly developed organs patterned? In Arabidopsis embryos, radial symmetry is broken by the bisymmetric specification of the cotyledons in the apical domain. Subsequently, this bisymmetry is propagated to the root promeristem.

Monoubiquitin-dependent Endocytosis of the Iron-regulated Transporter 1 (IRT1) Transporter Controls Iron Uptake in Plants

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. Aug, 2011  |  Pubmed ID: 21628566

Plants take up iron from the soil using the iron-regulated transporter 1 (IRT1) high-affinity iron transporter at the root surface. Sophisticated regulatory mechanisms allow plants to tightly control the levels of IRT1, ensuring optimal absorption of essential but toxic iron. Here, we demonstrate that overexpression of Arabidopsis thaliana IRT1 leads to constitutive IRT1 protein accumulation, metal overload, and oxidative stress. IRT1 is unexpectedly found in trans-Golgi network/early endosomes of root hair cells, and its levels and localization are unaffected by iron nutrition. Using pharmacological approaches, we show that IRT1 cycles to the plasma membrane to perform iron and metal uptake at the cell surface and is sent to the vacuole for proper turnover. We also prove that IRT1 is monoubiquitinated on several cytosol-exposed residues in vivo and that mutation of two putative monoubiquitination target residues in IRT1 triggers stabilization at the plasma membrane and leads to extreme lethality. Together, these data suggest a model in which monoubiquitin-dependent internalization/sorting and turnover keep the plasma membrane pool of IRT1 low to ensure proper iron uptake and to prevent metal toxicity. More generally, our work demonstrates the existence of monoubiquitin-dependent trafficking to lytic vacuoles in plants and points to proteasome-independent turnover of plasma membrane proteins.

Cell Plate Restricted Association of DRP1A and PIN Proteins is Required for Cell Polarity Establishment in Arabidopsis

Current Biology : CB. Jun, 2011  |  Pubmed ID: 21658946

The polarized transport of the phytohormone auxin [1], which is crucial for the regulation of different stages of plant development [2, 3], depends on the asymmetric plasma membrane distribution of the PIN-FORMED (PIN) auxin efflux carriers [4, 5]. The PIN polar localization results from clathrin-mediated endocytosis (CME) from the plasma membrane and subsequent polar recycling [6]. The Arabidopsis genome encodes two groups of dynamin-related proteins (DRPs) that show homology to mammalian dynamin-a protein required for fission of endocytic vesicles during CME [7, 8]. Here we show by coimmunoprecipitation (coIP), bimolecular fluorescence complementation (BiFC), and Förster resonance energy transfer (FRET) that members of the DRP1 group closely associate with PIN proteins at the cell plate. Localization and phenotypic analysis of novel drp1 mutants revealed a requirement for DRP1 function in correct PIN distribution and in auxin-mediated development. We propose that rapid and specific internalization of PIN proteins mediated by the DRP1 proteins and the associated CME machinery from the cell plate membranes during cytokinesis is an important mechanism for proper polar PIN positioning in interphase cells.

Feedback Models for Polarized Auxin Transport: an Emerging Trend

Molecular BioSystems. Aug, 2011  |  Pubmed ID: 21660355

The phytohormone auxin is vital to plant growth and development. A unique property of auxin among all other plant hormones is its cell-to-cell polar transport that requires activity of polarly localized PIN-FORMED (PIN) auxin efflux transporters. Despite the substantial molecular insight into the cellular PIN polarization, the mechanistic understanding for developmentally and environmentally regulated PIN polarization is scarce. The long-standing belief that auxin modulates its own transport by means of a positive feedback mechanism has inspired both experimentalists and theoreticians for more than two decades. Recently, theoretical models for auxin-dependent patterning in plants include the feedback between auxin transport and the PIN protein localization. These computer models aid to assess the complexity of plant development by testing and predicting plausible scenarios for various developmental processes that occur in planta. Although the majority of these models rely on purely heuristic principles, the most recent mechanistic models tentatively integrate biologically testable components into known cellular processes that underlie the PIN polarity regulation. The existing and emerging computational approaches to describe PIN polarization are presented and discussed in the light of recent experimental data on the PIN polar targeting.

Inositol Trisphosphate-induced Ca2+ Signaling Modulates Auxin Transport and PIN Polarity

Developmental Cell. Jun, 2011  |  Pubmed ID: 21664582

The phytohormone auxin is an important determinant of plant development. Directional auxin flow within tissues depends on polar localization of PIN auxin transporters. To explore regulation of PIN-mediated auxin transport, we screened for suppressors of PIN1 overexpression (supo) and identified an inositol polyphosphate 1-phosphatase mutant (supo1), with elevated inositol trisphosphate (InsP(3)) and cytosolic Ca(2+) levels. Pharmacological and genetic increases in InsP(3) or Ca(2+) levels also suppressed the PIN1 gain-of-function phenotypes and caused defects in basal PIN localization, auxin transport and auxin-mediated development. In contrast, the reductions in InsP(3) levels and Ca(2+) signaling antagonized the effects of the supo1 mutation and disrupted preferentially apical PIN localization. InsP(3) and Ca(2+) are evolutionarily conserved second messengers involved in various cellular functions, particularly stress responses. Our findings implicate them as modifiers of cell polarity and polar auxin transport, and highlight a potential integration point through which Ca(2+) signaling-related stimuli could influence auxin-mediated development.

Prototype Cell-to-cell Auxin Transport Mechanism by Intracellular Auxin Compartmentalization

Trends in Plant Science. Sep, 2011  |  Pubmed ID: 21665516

Carrier-dependent, intercellular auxin transport is central to the developmental patterning of higher plants (tracheophytes). The evolution of this polar auxin transport might be linked to the translocation of some PIN auxin efflux carriers from their presumably ancestral localization at the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) to the polar domains at the plasma membrane. Here we propose an eventually ancient mechanism of intercellular auxin distribution by ER-localized auxin transporters involving intracellular auxin retention and switch-like release from the ER. The proposed model integrates feedback circuits utilizing the conserved nuclear auxin signaling for the regulation of PIN transcription and a hypothetical ER-based signaling for the regulation of PIN-dependent transport activity at the ER. Computer simulations of the model revealed its plausibility for generating auxin channels and localized auxin maxima highlighting the possibility of this alternative mechanism for polar auxin transport.

The AP-3 Adaptor Complex is Required for Vacuolar Function in Arabidopsis

Cell Research. Dec, 2011  |  Pubmed ID: 21670741

Subcellular trafficking is required for a multitude of functions in eukaryotic cells. It involves regulation of cargo sorting, vesicle formation, trafficking and fusion processes at multiple levels. Adaptor protein (AP) complexes are key regulators of cargo sorting into vesicles in yeast and mammals but their existence and function in plants have not been demonstrated. Here we report the identification of the protein-affected trafficking 4 (pat4) mutant defective in the putative δ subunit of the AP-3 complex. pat4 and pat2, a mutant isolated from the same GFP imaging-based forward genetic screen that lacks a functional putative AP-3 β, as well as dominant negative AP-3 μ transgenic lines display undistinguishable phenotypes characterized by largely normal morphology and development, but strong intracellular accumulation of membrane proteins in aberrant vacuolar structures. All mutants are defective in morphology and function of lytic and protein storage vacuoles (PSVs) but show normal sorting of reserve proteins to PSVs. Immunoprecipitation experiments and genetic studies revealed tight functional and physical associations of putative AP-3 β and AP-3 δ subunits. Furthermore, both proteins are closely linked with putative AP-3 μ and σ subunits and several components of the clathrin and dynamin machineries. Taken together, these results demonstrate that AP complexes, similar to those in other eukaryotes, exist in plants, and that AP-3 plays a specific role in the regulation of biogenesis and function of vacuoles in plant cells.

Fleeting Hormone Cues Get Stabilized for Plant Organogenesis

Molecular Systems Biology. Jul, 2011  |  Pubmed ID: 21734646

Developmental Regulation of CYCA2s Contributes to Tissue-specific Proliferation in Arabidopsis

The EMBO Journal. Aug, 2011  |  Pubmed ID: 21772250

In multicellular organisms, morphogenesis relies on a strict coordination in time and space of cell proliferation and differentiation. In contrast to animals, plant development displays continuous organ formation and adaptive growth responses during their lifespan relying on a tight coordination of cell proliferation. How developmental signals interact with the plant cell-cycle machinery is largely unknown. Here, we characterize plant A2-type cyclins, a small gene family of mitotic cyclins, and show how they contribute to the fine-tuning of local proliferation during plant development. Moreover, the timely repression of CYCA2;3 expression in newly formed guard cells is shown to require the stomatal transcription factors FOUR LIPS/MYB124 and MYB88, providing a direct link between developmental programming and cell-cycle exit in plants. Thus, transcriptional downregulation of CYCA2s represents a critical mechanism to coordinate proliferation during plant development.

Clathrin-mediated Endocytosis: the Gateway into Plant Cells

Current Opinion in Plant Biology. Dec, 2011  |  Pubmed ID: 21945181

Endocytosis in plants has an essential role not only for basic cellular functions but also for growth and development, hormonal signaling and communication with the environment including nutrient delivery, toxin avoidance, and pathogen defense. The major endocytic mechanism in plants depends on the coat protein clathrin. It starts by clathrin-coated vesicle formation at the plasma membrane, where specific cargoes are recognized and packaged for internalization. Recently, genetic, biochemical and advanced microscopy studies provided initial insights into mechanisms and roles of clathrin-mediated endocytosis in plants. Here we summarize the present state of knowledge and compare mechanisms of clathrin-mediated endocytosis in plants with animal and yeast paradigms as well as review plant-specific regulations and roles of this process.

Cytokinin Modulates Endocytic Trafficking of PIN1 Auxin Efflux Carrier to Control Plant Organogenesis

Developmental Cell. Oct, 2011  |  Pubmed ID: 21962902

Cytokinin is an important regulator of plant growth and development. In Arabidopsis thaliana, the two-component phosphorelay mediated through a family of histidine kinases and response regulators is recognized as the principal cytokinin signal transduction mechanism activating the complex transcriptional response to control various developmental processes. Here, we identified an alternative mode of cytokinin action that uses endocytic trafficking as a means to direct plant organogenesis. This activity occurs downstream of known cytokinin receptors but through a branch of the cytokinin signaling pathway that does not involve transcriptional regulation. We show that cytokinin regulates endocytic recycling of the auxin efflux carrier PINFORMED1 (PIN1) by redirecting it for lytic degradation in vacuoles. Stimulation of the lytic PIN1 degradation is not a default effect for general downregulation of proteins from plasma membranes, but a specific mechanism to rapidly modulate the auxin distribution in cytokinin-mediated developmental processes.

Cell Polarity in Plants: when Two Do the Same, It is Not the Same

Current Opinion in Cell Biology. Dec, 2011  |  Pubmed ID: 21962973

In unicellular and multicellular organisms, cell polarity is essential for a wide range of biological processes. An important feature of cell polarity is the asymmetric distribution of proteins in or at the plasma membrane. In plants such polar localized proteins play various specific roles ranging from organizing cell morphogenesis, asymmetric cell division, pathogen defense, nutrient transport and establishment of hormone gradients for developmental patterning. Moreover, flexible respecification of cell polarities enables plants to adjust their physiology and development to environmental changes. Having evolved multicellularity independently and lacking major cell polarity mechanisms of animal cells, plants came up with alternative solutions to generate and respecify cell polarity as well as to regulate polar domains at the plasma membrane.

Auxin-dependent Cell Cycle Reactivation Through Transcriptional Regulation of Arabidopsis E2Fa by Lateral Organ Boundary Proteins

The Plant Cell. Oct, 2011  |  Pubmed ID: 22003076

Multicellular organisms depend on cell production, cell fate specification, and correct patterning to shape their adult body. In plants, auxin plays a prominent role in the timely coordination of these different cellular processes. A well-studied example is lateral root initiation, in which auxin triggers founder cell specification and cell cycle activation of xylem pole-positioned pericycle cells. Here, we report that the E2Fa transcription factor of Arabidopsis thaliana is an essential component that regulates the asymmetric cell division marking lateral root initiation. Moreover, we demonstrate that E2Fa expression is regulated by the LATERAL ORGAN BOUNDARY DOMAIN18/LATERAL ORGAN BOUNDARY DOMAIN33 (LBD18/LBD33) dimer that is, in turn, regulated by the auxin signaling pathway. LBD18/LBD33 mediates lateral root organogenesis through E2Fa transcriptional activation, whereas E2Fa expression under control of the LBD18 promoter eliminates the need for LBD18. Besides lateral root initiation, vascular patterning is disrupted in E2Fa knockout plants, similarly as it is affected in auxin signaling and lbd mutants, indicating that the transcriptional induction of E2Fa through LBDs represents a general mechanism for auxin-dependent cell cycle activation. Our data illustrate how a conserved mechanism driving cell cycle entry has been adapted evolutionarily to connect auxin signaling with control of processes determining plant architecture.

Clusters of Bioactive Compounds Target Dynamic Endomembrane Networks in Vivo

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. Oct, 2011  |  Pubmed ID: 22006339

Endomembrane trafficking relies on the coordination of a highly complex, dynamic network of intracellular vesicles. Understanding the network will require a dissection of cargo and vesicle dynamics at the cellular level in vivo. This is also a key to establishing a link between vesicular networks and their functional roles in development. We used a high-content intracellular screen to discover small molecules targeting endomembrane trafficking in vivo in a complex eukaryote, Arabidopsis thaliana. Tens of thousands of molecules were prescreened and a selected subset was interrogated against a panel of plasma membrane (PM) and other endomembrane compartment markers to identify molecules that altered vesicle trafficking. The extensive image dataset was transformed by a flexible algorithm into a marker-by-phenotype-by-treatment time matrix and revealed groups of molecules that induced similar subcellular fingerprints (clusters). This matrix provides a platform for a systems view of trafficking. Molecules from distinct clusters presented avenues and enabled an entry point to dissect recycling at the PM, vacuolar sorting, and cell-plate maturation. Bioactivity in human cells indicated the value of the approach to identifying small molecules that are active in diverse organisms for biology and drug discovery.

Recycling, Clustering, and Endocytosis Jointly Maintain PIN Auxin Carrier Polarity at the Plasma Membrane

Molecular Systems Biology. Oct, 2011  |  Pubmed ID: 22027551

Cell polarity reflected by asymmetric distribution of proteins at the plasma membrane is a fundamental feature of unicellular and multicellular organisms. It remains conceptually unclear how cell polarity is kept in cell wall-encapsulated plant cells. We have used super-resolution and semi-quantitative live-cell imaging in combination with pharmacological, genetic, and computational approaches to reveal insights into the mechanism of cell polarity maintenance in Arabidopsis thaliana. We show that polar-competent PIN transporters for the phytohormone auxin are delivered to the center of polar domains by super-polar recycling. Within the plasma membrane, PINs are recruited into non-mobile membrane clusters and their lateral diffusion is dramatically reduced, which ensures longer polar retention. At the circumventing edges of the polar domain, spatially defined internalization of escaped cargos occurs by clathrin-dependent endocytosis. Computer simulations confirm that the combination of these processes provides a robust mechanism for polarity maintenance in plant cells. Moreover, our study suggests that the regulation of lateral diffusion and spatially defined endocytosis, but not super-polar exocytosis have primary importance for PIN polarity maintenance.

Transcription Factor WRKY23 Assists Auxin Distribution Patterns During Arabidopsis Root Development Through Local Control on Flavonol Biosynthesis

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. Jan, 2012  |  Pubmed ID: 22307611

Gradients of the plant hormone auxin, which depend on its active intercellular transport, are crucial for the maintenance of root meristematic activity. This directional transport is largely orchestrated by a complex interaction of specific influx and efflux carriers that mediate the auxin flow into and out of cells, respectively. Besides these transport proteins, plant-specific polyphenolic compounds known as flavonols have been shown to act as endogenous regulators of auxin transport. However, only limited information is available on how flavonol synthesis is developmentally regulated. Using reduction-of-function and overexpression approaches in parallel, we demonstrate that the WRKY23 transcription factor is needed for proper root growth and development by stimulating the local biosynthesis of flavonols. The expression of WRKY23 itself is controlled by auxin through the Auxin Response Factor 7 (ARF7) and ARF19 transcriptional response pathway. Our results suggest a model in which WRKY23 is part of a transcriptional feedback loop of auxin on its own transport through local regulation of flavonol biosynthesis.

GOLVEN Secretory Peptides Regulate Auxin Carrier Turnover During Plant Gravitropic Responses

Developmental Cell. Mar, 2012  |  Pubmed ID: 22421050

Growth and development are coordinated by an array of intercellular communications. Known plant signaling molecules include phytohormones and hormone peptides. Although both classes can be implicated in the same developmental processes, little is known about the interplay between phytohormone action and peptide signaling within the cellular microenvironment. We show that genes coding for small secretory peptides, designated GOLVEN (GLV), modulate the distribution of the phytohormone auxin. The deregulation of the GLV function impairs the formation of auxin gradients and alters the reorientation of shoots and roots after a gravity stimulus. Specifically, the GLV signal modulates the trafficking dynamics of the auxin efflux carrier PIN-FORMED2 involved in root tropic responses and meristem organization. Our work links the local action of secretory peptides with phytohormone transport.

A Novel Putative Auxin Carrier Family Regulates Intracellular Auxin Homeostasis in Plants

Nature. Apr, 2012  |  Pubmed ID: 22504182

The phytohormone auxin acts as a prominent signal, providing, by its local accumulation or depletion in selected cells, a spatial and temporal reference for changes in the developmental program. The distribution of auxin depends on both auxin metabolism (biosynthesis, conjugation and degradation) and cellular auxin transport. We identified in silico a novel putative auxin transport facilitator family, called PIN-LIKES (PILS). Here we illustrate that PILS proteins are required for auxin-dependent regulation of plant growth by determining the cellular sensitivity to auxin. PILS proteins regulate intracellular auxin accumulation at the endoplasmic reticulum and thus auxin availability for nuclear auxin signalling. PILS activity affects the level of endogenous auxin indole-3-acetic acid (IAA), presumably via intracellular accumulation and metabolism. Our findings reveal that the transport machinery to compartmentalize auxin within the cell is of an unexpected molecular complexity and demonstrate this compartmentalization to be functionally important for a number of developmental processes.

ROP GTPase-dependent Actin Microfilaments Promote PIN1 Polarization by Localized Inhibition of Clathrin-dependent Endocytosis

PLoS Biology. 2012  |  Pubmed ID: 22509133

Cell polarization via asymmetrical distribution of structures or molecules is essential for diverse cellular functions and development of organisms, but how polarity is developmentally controlled has been poorly understood. In plants, the asymmetrical distribution of the PIN-FORMED (PIN) proteins involved in the cellular efflux of the quintessential phytohormone auxin plays a central role in developmental patterning, morphogenesis, and differential growth. Recently we showed that auxin promotes cell interdigitation by activating the Rho family ROP GTPases in leaf epidermal pavement cells. Here we found that auxin activation of the ROP2 signaling pathway regulates the asymmetric distribution of PIN1 by inhibiting its endocytosis. ROP2 inhibits PIN1 endocytosis via the accumulation of cortical actin microfilaments induced by the ROP2 effector protein RIC4. Our findings suggest a link between the developmental auxin signal and polar PIN1 distribution via Rho-dependent cytoskeletal reorganization and reveal the conservation of a design principle for cell polarization that is based on Rho GTPase-mediated inhibition of endocytosis.

Plant Signaling: Deconstructing Auxin Sensing

Nature Chemical Biology. Apr, 2012  |  Pubmed ID: 22510662

Fluorescent Castasterone Reveals BRI1 Signaling from the Plasma Membrane

Nature Chemical Biology. May, 2012  |  Pubmed ID: 22561410

Receptor-mediated endocytosis is an integral part of signal transduction as it mediates signal attenuation and provides spatial and temporal dimensions to signaling events. One of the best-studied leucine-rich repeat receptor-like kinases in plants, BRASSINOSTEROID INSENSITIVE 1 (BRI1), perceives its ligand, the brassinosteroid (BR) hormone, at the cell surface and is constitutively endocytosed. However, the importance of endocytosis for BR signaling remains unclear. Here we developed a bioactive, fluorescent BR analog, Alexa Fluor 647-castasterone (AFCS), and visualized the endocytosis of BRI1-AFCS complexes in living Arabidopsis thaliana cells. Impairment of endocytosis dependent on clathrin and the guanine nucleotide exchange factor for ARF GTPases (ARF-GEF) GNOM enhanced BR signaling by retaining active BRI1-ligand complexes at the plasma membrane. Increasing the trans-Golgi network/early endosome pool of BRI1-BR complexes did not affect BR signaling. Our findings provide what is to our knowledge the first visualization of receptor-ligand complexes in plants and reveal clathrin- and ARF-GEF-dependent endocytic regulation of BR signaling from the plasma membrane.

Fluorescence Imaging-based Forward Genetic Screens to Identify Trafficking Regulators in Plants

Frontiers in Plant Science. 2012  |  Pubmed ID: 22654887

Coordinated, subcellular trafficking of proteins is one of the fundamental properties of the multicellular eukaryotic organisms. Trafficking involves a large diversity of compartments, pathways, cargo molecules, and vesicle-sorting events. It is also crucial in regulating the localization and, thus, the activity of various proteins, but the process is still poorly genetically defined in plants. In the past, forward genetics screens had been used to determine the function of genes by searching for a specific morphological phenotype in the organism population in which mutations had been induced chemically or by irradiation. Unfortunately, these straightforward genetic screens turned out to be limited in identifying new regulators of intracellular protein transport, because mutations affecting essential trafficking pathways often lead to lethality. In addition, the use of these approaches has been restricted by functional redundancy among trafficking regulators. Screens for mutants that rely on the observation of changes in the cellular localization or dynamics of fluorescent subcellular markers enable, at least partially, to circumvent these issues. Hence, such image-based screens provide the possibility to identify either alleles with weak effects or components of the subcellular trafficking machinery that have no strong impact on the plant growth.

A ROP GTPase-dependent Auxin Signaling Pathway Regulates the Subcellular Distribution of PIN2 in Arabidopsis Roots

Current Biology : CB. Jul, 2012  |  Pubmed ID: 22683260

PIN-FORMED (PIN) protein-mediated auxin polar transport is critically important for development, pattern formation, and morphogenesis in plants. Auxin has been implicated in the regulation of polar auxin transport by inhibiting PIN endocytosis, but how auxin regulates this process is poorly understood. Our genetic screen identified the Arabidopsis SPIKE1 (SPK1) gene whose loss-of-function mutations increased lateral root density and retarded gravitropic responses, as do pin2 knockout mutations. SPK1 belongs to the conserved DHR2-Dock family of Rho guanine nucleotide exchange factors. The spk1 mutations induced PIN2 internalization that was not suppressed by auxin, as did the loss-of-function mutations for Rho-like GTPase from Plants 6 (ROP6)-GTPase or its effector RIC1. Furthermore, SPK1 was required for auxin induction of ROP6 activation. Our results have established a Rho GTPase-based auxin signaling pathway that maintains PIN2 polar distribution to the plasma membrane via inhibition of its internalization in Arabidopsis roots. Our findings provide new insights into signaling mechanisms that underlie the regulation of the dynamic trafficking of PINs required for long-distance auxin transport and that link auxin signaling to PIN-mediated pattern formation and morphogenesis.

ABP1 and ROP6 GTPase Signaling Regulate Clathrin-mediated Endocytosis in Arabidopsis Roots

Current Biology : CB. Jul, 2012  |  Pubmed ID: 22683261

The dynamic spatial and temporal distribution of the crucial plant signaling molecule auxin is achieved by feedback coordination of auxin signaling and intercellular auxin transport pathways. Developmental roles of auxin have been attributed predominantly to its effect on transcription; however, an alternative pathway involving AUXIN BINDING PROTEIN1 (ABP1) has been proposed to regulate clathrin-mediated endocytosis in roots and Rho-like GTPase (ROP)-dependent pavement cell interdigitation in leaves. In this study, we show that ROP6 and its downstream effector RIC1 regulate clathrin association with the plasma membrane for clathrin-mediated endocytosis, as well as for its feedback regulation by auxin. Genetic analysis revealed that ROP6/RIC1 acts downstream of ABP1 to regulate endocytosis. This signaling circuit is also involved in the feedback regulation of PIN-FORMED 1 (PIN1) and PIN2 auxin transporters activity (via its constitutive endocytosis) and corresponding auxin transport-mediated processes, including root gravitropism and leave vascular tissue patterning. Our findings suggest that the signaling module auxin-ABP1-ROP6/RIC1-clathrin-PIN1/PIN2 is a shared component of the feedback regulation of auxin transport during both root and aerial development.

Cell Wall Constrains Lateral Diffusion of Plant Plasma-membrane Proteins

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. Jul, 2012  |  Pubmed ID: 22689944

A cell membrane can be considered a liquid-phase plane in which lipids and proteins theoretically are free to diffuse. Numerous reports, however, describe retarded diffusion of membrane proteins in animal cells. This anomalous diffusion results from a combination of structuring factors including protein-protein interactions, cytoskeleton corralling, and lipid organization into microdomains. In plant cells, plasma-membrane (PM) proteins have been described as relatively immobile, but the control mechanisms that structure the PM have not been studied. Here, we use fluorescence recovery after photobleaching to estimate mobility of a set of minimal PM proteins. These proteins consist only of a PM-anchoring domain fused to a fluorescent protein, but their mobilities remained limited, as is the case for many full-length proteins. Neither the cytoskeleton nor membrane microdomain structure was involved in constraining the diffusion of these proteins. The cell wall, however, was shown to have a crucial role in immobilizing PM proteins. In addition, by single-molecule fluorescence imaging we confirmed that the pattern of cellulose deposition in the cell wall affects the trajectory and speed of PM protein diffusion. Regulation of PM protein dynamics by the plant cell wall can be interpreted as a mechanism for regulating protein interactions in processes such as trafficking and signal transduction.

A PP6-type Phosphatase Holoenzyme Directly Regulates PIN Phosphorylation and Auxin Efflux in Arabidopsis

The Plant Cell. Jun, 2012  |  Pubmed ID: 22715043

The directional transport of the phytohormone auxin depends on the phosphorylation status and polar localization of PIN-FORMED (PIN) auxin efflux proteins. While PINIOD (PID) kinase is directly involved in the phosphorylation of PIN proteins, the phosphatase holoenzyme complexes that dephosphorylate PIN proteins remain elusive. Here, we demonstrate that mutations simultaneously disrupting the function of Arabidopsis thaliana FyPP1 (for Phytochrome-associated serine/threonine protein phosphatase1) and FyPP3, two homologous genes encoding the catalytic subunits of protein phosphatase6 (PP6), cause elevated accumulation of phosphorylated PIN proteins, correlating with a basal-to-apical shift in subcellular PIN localization. The changes in PIN polarity result in increased root basipetal auxin transport and severe defects, including shorter roots, fewer lateral roots, defective columella cells, root meristem collapse, abnormal cotyledons (small, cup-shaped, or fused cotyledons), and altered leaf venation. Our molecular, biochemical, and genetic data support the notion that FyPP1/3, SAL (for SAPS DOMAIN-LIKE), and PP2AA proteins (RCN1 [for ROOTS CURL IN NAPHTHYLPHTHALAMIC ACID1] or PP2AA1, PP2AA2, and PP2AA3) physically interact to form a novel PP6-type heterotrimeric holoenzyme complex. We also show that FyPP1/3, SAL, and PP2AA interact with a subset of PIN proteins and that for SAL the strength of the interaction depends on the PIN phosphorylation status. Thus, an Arabidopsis PP6-type phosphatase holoenzyme acts antagonistically with PID to direct auxin transport polarity and plant development by directly regulating PIN phosphorylation.

ER-localized Auxin Transporter PIN8 Regulates Auxin Homeostasis and Male Gametophyte Development in Arabidopsis

Nature Communications. Jul, 2012  |  Pubmed ID: 22760640

Auxin is a key coordinative signal required for many aspects of plant development and its levels are controlled by auxin metabolism and intercellular auxin transport. Here we find that a member of PIN auxin transporter family, PIN8 is expressed in male gametophyte of Arabidopsis thaliana and has a crucial role in pollen development and functionality. Ectopic expression in sporophytic tissues establishes a role of PIN8 in regulating auxin homoeostasis and metabolism. PIN8 co-localizes with PIN5 to the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) where it acts as an auxin transporter. Genetic analyses reveal an antagonistic action of PIN5 and PIN8 in the regulation of intracellular auxin homoeostasis and gametophyte as well as sporophyte development. Our results reveal a role of the auxin transport in male gametophyte development in which the distinct actions of ER-localized PIN transporters regulate cellular auxin homoeostasis and maintain the auxin levels optimal for pollen development and pollen tube growth.

BEX5/RabA1b Regulates Trans-Golgi Network-to-plasma Membrane Protein Trafficking in Arabidopsis

The Plant Cell. Jul, 2012  |  Pubmed ID: 22773752

Constitutive endocytic recycling is a crucial mechanism allowing regulation of the activity of proteins at the plasma membrane and for rapid changes in their localization, as demonstrated in plants for PIN-FORMED (PIN) proteins, the auxin transporters. To identify novel molecular components of endocytic recycling, mainly exocytosis, we designed a PIN1-green fluorescent protein fluorescence imaging-based forward genetic screen for Arabidopsis thaliana mutants that showed increased intracellular accumulation of cargos in response to the trafficking inhibitor brefeldin A (BFA). We identified bex5 (for BFA-visualized exocytic trafficking defective), a novel dominant mutant carrying a missense mutation that disrupts a conserved sequence motif of the small GTPase, RAS GENES FROM RAT BRAINA1b. bex5 displays defects such as enhanced protein accumulation in abnormal BFA compartments, aberrant endosomes, and defective exocytosis and transcytosis. BEX5/RabA1b localizes to trans-Golgi network/early endosomes (TGN/EE) and acts on distinct trafficking processes like those regulated by GTP exchange factors on ADP-ribosylation factors GNOM-LIKE1 and HOPM INTERACTOR7/BFA-VISUALIZED ENDOCYTIC TRAFFICKING DEFECTIVE1, which regulate trafficking at the Golgi apparatus and TGN/EE, respectively. All together, this study identifies Arabidopsis BEX5/RabA1b as a novel regulator of protein trafficking from a TGN/EE compartment to the plasma membrane.

Cell Polarity: Stretching Prevents Developmental Cramps

Current Biology : CB. Aug, 2012  |  Pubmed ID: 22917510

Initiation and successive development of organs induce mechanical stresses at the cellular level. Using the tomato shoot apex, a new study now proposes that mechanical strain regulates the plasma membrane abundance of the PIN1 auxin transporter, thereby reinforcing a positive feed-back loop between growth and auxin accumulation.

Plant Developmental Biologists Meet on Stairways in Matera

Development (Cambridge, England). Oct, 2012  |  Pubmed ID: 22991434

The third EMBO Conference on Plant Molecular Biology, which focused on 'Plant development and environmental interactions', was held in May 2012 in Matera, Italy. Here, we review some of the topics and themes that emerged from the various contributions; namely, steering technologies, transcriptional networks and hormonal regulation, small RNAs, cell and tissue polarity, environmental control and natural variation. We intend to provide the reader who might have missed this remarkable event with a glimpse of the recent progress made in this blossoming research field.

Origin and Evolution of PIN Auxin Transporters in the Green Lineage

Trends in Plant Science. Jan, 2013  |  Pubmed ID: 22981345

Polarized auxin transport is crucial for many developmental processes in flowering plants and requires the PIN-FORMED (PIN) family of auxin efflux carriers. However, the impact of polar auxin transport and PIN proteins on the development of non-seed plant species and green algal lineages is largely unknown. Using recently available sequence information from streptophyte algae and other non-seed plant species, we have constructed a preliminary phylogenetic framework and present several hypotheses for PIN protein evolution. We postulate that PIN proteins originated in streptophyte algae at the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) and that plasma membrane localization was acquired during land plant evolution. We also suggest that PIN proteins are evolutionarily distinct from another family of auxin transporters at the ER, the PIN-LIKES (PILS) proteins.

Cytokinin Signaling Regulates Pavement Cell Morphogenesis in Arabidopsis

Cell Research. Feb, 2013  |  Pubmed ID: 23090432

The puzzle piece-shaped Arabidopsis leaf pavement cells (PCs) with interdigitated lobes and indents is a good model system to investigate the mechanisms that coordinate cell polarity and shape formation within a tissue. Auxin has been shown to coordinate the interdigitation by activating ROP GTPase-dependent signaling pathways. To identify additional components or mechanisms, we screened for mutants with abnormal PC morphogenesis and found that cytokinin signaling regulates the PC interdigitation pattern. Reduction in cytokinin accumulation and defects in cytokinin signaling (such as in ARR7-over-expressing lines, the ahk3cre1 cytokinin receptor mutant, and the ahp12345 cytokinin signaling mutant) enhanced PC interdigitation, whereas over-production of cytokinin and over-activation of cytokinin signaling in an ARR20 over-expression line delayed or abolished PC interdigitation throughout the cotyledon. Genetic and biochemical analyses suggest that cytokinin signaling acts upstream of ROPs to suppress the formation of interdigitated pattern. Our results provide novel mechanistic understanding of the pathways controlling PC shape and uncover a new role for cytokinin signaling in cell morphogenesis.

SCF(TIR1/AFB)-auxin Signalling Regulates PIN Vacuolar Trafficking and Auxin Fluxes During Root Gravitropism

The EMBO Journal. Jan, 2013  |  Pubmed ID: 23211744

The distribution of the phytohormone auxin regulates many aspects of plant development including growth response to gravity. Gravitropic root curvature involves coordinated and asymmetric cell elongation between the lower and upper side of the root, mediated by differential cellular auxin levels. The asymmetry in the auxin distribution is established and maintained by a spatio-temporal regulation of the PIN-FORMED (PIN) auxin transporter activity. We provide novel insights into the complex regulation of PIN abundance and activity during root gravitropism. We show that PIN2 turnover is differentially regulated on the upper and lower side of gravistimulated roots by distinct but partially overlapping auxin feedback mechanisms. In addition to regulating transcription and clathrin-mediated internalization, auxin also controls PIN abundance at the plasma membrane by promoting their vacuolar targeting and degradation. This effect of elevated auxin levels requires the activity of SKP-Cullin-F-box(TIR1/AFB) (SCF(TIR1/AFB))-dependent pathway. Importantly, also suboptimal auxin levels mediate PIN degradation utilizing the same signalling pathway. These feedback mechanisms are functionally important during gravitropic response and ensure fine-tuning of auxin fluxes for maintaining as well as terminating asymmetric growth.

Arabidopsis TWISTED DWARF1 Functionally Interacts with Auxin Exporter ABCB1 on the Root Plasma Membrane

The Plant Cell. Jan, 2013  |  Pubmed ID: 23321285

Plant architecture is influenced by the polar, cell-to-cell transport of auxin that is primarily provided and regulated by plasma membrane efflux catalysts of the PIN-FORMED and B family of ABC transporter (ABCB) classes. The latter were shown to require the functionality of the FK506 binding protein42 TWISTED DWARF1 (TWD1), although underlying mechanisms are unclear. By genetic manipulation of TWD1 expression, we show here that TWD1 affects shootward root auxin reflux and, thus, downstream developmental traits, such as epidermal twisting and gravitropism of the root. Using immunological assays, we demonstrate a predominant lateral, mainly outward-facing, plasma membrane location for TWD1 in the root epidermis characterized by the lateral marker ABC transporter G36/PLEIOTROPIC DRUG-RESISTANCE8/PENETRATION3. At these epidermal plasma membrane domains, TWD1 colocalizes with nonpolar ABCB1. In planta bioluminescence resonance energy transfer analysis was used to verify specific ABC transporter B1 (ABCB1)-TWD1 interaction. Our data support a model in which TWD1 promotes lateral ABCB-mediated auxin efflux via protein-protein interaction at the plasma membrane, minimizing reflux from the root apoplast into the cytoplasm.

Single-cell-based System to Monitor Carrier Driven Cellular Auxin Homeostasis

BMC Plant Biology. Feb, 2013  |  Pubmed ID: 23379388

Abundance and distribution of the plant hormone auxin play important roles in plant development. Besides other metabolic processes, various auxin carriers control the cellular level of active auxin and, hence, are major regulators of cellular auxin homeostasis. Despite the developmental importance of auxin transporters, a simple medium-to-high throughput approach to assess carrier activities is still missing. Here we show that carrier driven depletion of cellular auxin correlates with reduced nuclear auxin signaling in tobacco Bright Yellow-2 (BY-2) cell cultures.

Asymmetric Gibberellin Signaling Regulates Vacuolar Trafficking of PIN Auxin Transporters During Root Gravitropism

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. Feb, 2013  |  Pubmed ID: 23391733

Gravitropic bending of plant organs is mediated by an asymmetric signaling of the plant hormone auxin between the upper and lower side of the respective organ. Here, we show that also another plant hormone, gibberellic acid (GA), shows asymmetric action during gravitropic responses. Immunodetection using an antibody against GA and monitoring GA signaling output by downstream degradation of DELLA proteins revealed an asymmetric GA distribution and response with the maximum at the lower side of gravistimulated roots. Genetic or pharmacological manipulation of GA levels or response affects gravity-mediated auxin redistribution and root bending response. The higher GA levels at the lower side of the root correlate with increased amounts of PIN-FORMED2 (PIN2) auxin transporter at the plasma membrane. The observed increase in PIN2 stability is caused by a specific GA effect on trafficking of PIN proteins to lytic vacuoles that presumably occurs downstream of brefeldin A-sensitive endosomes. Our results suggest that asymmetric auxin distribution instructive for gravity-induced differential growth is consolidated by the asymmetric action of GA that stabilizes the PIN-dependent auxin stream along the lower side of gravistimulated roots.

A Major Facilitator Superfamily Transporter Plays a Dual Role in Polar Auxin Transport and Drought Stress Tolerance in Arabidopsis

The Plant Cell. Mar, 2013  |  Pubmed ID: 23524662

Many key aspects of plant development are regulated by the polarized transport of the phytohormone auxin. Cellular auxin efflux, the rate-limiting step in this process, has been shown to rely on the coordinated action of PIN-formed (PIN) and B-type ATP binding cassette (ABCB) carriers. Here, we report that polar auxin transport in the Arabidopsis thaliana root also requires the action of a Major Facilitator Superfamily (MFS) transporter, Zinc-Induced Facilitator-Like 1 (ZIFL1). Sequencing, promoter-reporter, and fluorescent protein fusion experiments indicate that the full-length ZIFL1.1 protein and a truncated splice isoform, ZIFL1.3, localize to the tonoplast of root cells and the plasma membrane of leaf stomatal guard cells, respectively. Using reverse genetics, we show that the ZIFL1.1 transporter regulates various root auxin-related processes, while the ZIFL1.3 isoform mediates drought tolerance by regulating stomatal closure. Auxin transport and immunolocalization assays demonstrate that ZIFL1.1 indirectly modulates cellular auxin efflux during shootward auxin transport at the root tip, likely by regulating plasma membrane PIN2 abundance. Finally, heterologous expression in yeast revealed that ZIFL1.1 and ZIFL1.3 share H(+)-coupled K(+) transport activity. Thus, by determining the subcellular and tissue distribution of two isoforms, alternative splicing dictates a dual function for the ZIFL1 transporter. We propose that this MFS carrier regulates stomatal movements and polar auxin transport by modulating potassium and proton fluxes in Arabidopsis cells.

Interaction of PLS and PIN and Hormonal Crosstalk in Arabidopsis Root Development

Frontiers in Plant Science. 2013  |  Pubmed ID: 23577016

Understanding how hormones and genes interact to coordinate plant growth is a major challenge in developmental biology. The activities of auxin, ethylene, and cytokinin depend on cellular context and exhibit either synergistic or antagonistic interactions. Here we use experimentation and network construction to elucidate the role of the interaction of the POLARIS peptide (PLS) and the auxin efflux carrier PIN proteins in the crosstalk of three hormones (auxin, ethylene, and cytokinin) in Arabidopsis root development. In ethylene hypersignaling mutants such as polaris (pls), we show experimentally that expression of both PIN1 and PIN2 significantly increases. This relationship is analyzed in the context of the crosstalk between auxin, ethylene, and cytokinin: in pls, endogenous auxin, ethylene and cytokinin concentration decreases, approximately remains unchanged and increases, respectively. Experimental data are integrated into a hormonal crosstalk network through combination with information in literature. Network construction reveals that the regulation of both PIN1 and PIN2 is predominantly via ethylene signaling. In addition, it is deduced that the relationship between cytokinin and PIN1 and PIN2 levels implies a regulatory role of cytokinin in addition to its regulation to auxin, ethylene, and PLS levels. We discuss how the network of hormones and genes coordinates plant growth by simultaneously regulating the activities of auxin, ethylene, and cytokinin signaling pathways.

ROOT ULTRAVIOLET B-SENSITIVE1/weak Auxin Response3 is Essential for Polar Auxin Transport in Arabidopsis

Plant Physiology. Jun, 2013  |  Pubmed ID: 23580592

The phytohormone auxin regulates virtually every aspect of plant development. To identify new genes involved in auxin activity, a genetic screen was performed for Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana) mutants with altered expression of the auxin-responsive reporter DR5rev:GFP. One of the mutants recovered in the screen, designated as weak auxin response3 (wxr3), exhibits much lower DR5rev:GFP expression when treated with the synthetic auxin 2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid and displays severe defects in root development. The wxr3 mutant decreases polar auxin transport and results in a disruption of the asymmetric auxin distribution. The levels of the auxin transporters AUXIN1 and PIN-FORMED are dramatically reduced in the wxr3 root tip. Molecular analyses demonstrate that WXR3 is ROOT ULTRAVIOLET B-SENSITIVE1 (RUS1), a member of the conserved Domain of Unknown Function647 protein family found in diverse eukaryotic organisms. Our data suggest that RUS1/WXR3 plays an essential role in the regulation of polar auxin transport by maintaining the proper level of auxin transporters on the plasma membrane.

Salicylic Acid Interferes with Clathrin-mediated Endocytic Protein Trafficking

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. May, 2013  |  Pubmed ID: 23613581

Removal of cargos from the cell surface via endocytosis is an efficient mechanism to regulate activities of plasma membrane (PM)-resident proteins, such as receptors or transporters. Salicylic acid (SA) is an important plant hormone that is traditionally associated with pathogen defense. Here, we describe an unanticipated effect of SA on subcellular endocytic cycling of proteins. Both exogenous treatments and endogenously enhanced SA levels repressed endocytosis of different PM proteins. The SA effect on endocytosis did not involve transcription or known components of the SA signaling pathway for transcriptional regulation. SA likely targets an endocytic mechanism that involves the coat protein clathrin, because SA interfered with the clathrin incidence at the PM and clathrin-deficient mutants were less sensitive to the impact of SA on the auxin distribution and root bending during the gravitropic response. By contrast, SA did not affect the ligand-induced endocytosis of the flagellin sensing2 (FLS2) receptor during pathogen responses. Our data suggest that the established SA impact on transcription in plant immunity and the nontranscriptional effect of SA on clathrin-mediated endocytosis are independent mechanisms by which SA regulates distinct aspects of plant physiology.

The MOSS Physcomitrella Patens Reproductive Organ Development is Highly Organized, Affected by the Two SHI/STY Genes and by the Level of Active Auxin in the SHI/STY Expression Domain

Plant Physiology. Jul, 2013  |  Pubmed ID: 23669745

In order to establish a reference for analysis of the function of auxin and the auxin biosynthesis regulators SHORT INTERNODE/STYLISH (SHI/STY) during Physcomitrella patens reproductive development, we have described male (antheridial) and female(archegonial) development in detail, including temporal and positional information of organ initiation. This has allowed us to define discrete stages of organ morphogenesis and to show that reproductive organ development in P. patens is highly organized and that organ phyllotaxis differs between vegetative and reproductive development. Using the PpSHI1 and PpSHI2 reporter and knockout lines, the auxin reporters GmGH3(pro):GUS and PpPINA(pro):GFP-GUS, and the auxin-conjugating transgene PpSHI2(pro):IAAL, we could show that the PpSHI genes, and by inference also auxin, play important roles for reproductive organ development in moss. The PpSHI genes are required for the apical opening of the reproductive organs, the final differentiation of the egg cell, and the progression of canal cells into a cell death program. The apical cells of the archegonium, the canal cells, and the egg cell are also sites of auxin responsiveness and are affected by reduced levels of active auxin, suggesting that auxin mediates PpSHI function in the reproductive organs.

Cell Polarity and Patterning by PIN Trafficking Through Early Endosomal Compartments in Arabidopsis Thaliana

PLoS Genetics. May, 2013  |  Pubmed ID: 23737757

PIN-FORMED (PIN) proteins localize asymmetrically at the plasma membrane and mediate intercellular polar transport of the plant hormone auxin that is crucial for a multitude of developmental processes in plants. PIN localization is under extensive control by environmental or developmental cues, but mechanisms regulating PIN localization are not fully understood. Here we show that early endosomal components ARF GEF BEN1 and newly identified Sec1/Munc18 family protein BEN2 are involved in distinct steps of early endosomal trafficking. BEN1 and BEN2 are collectively required for polar PIN localization, for their dynamic repolarization, and consequently for auxin activity gradient formation and auxin-related developmental processes including embryonic patterning, organogenesis, and vasculature venation patterning. These results show that early endosomal trafficking is crucial for cell polarity and auxin-dependent regulation of plant architecture.

Retromer Subunits VPS35A and VPS29 Mediate Prevacuolar Compartment (PVC) Function in Arabidopsis

Molecular Plant. Nov, 2013  |  Pubmed ID: 23770835

Intracellular protein routing is mediated by vesicular transport which is tightly regulated in eukaryotes. The protein and lipid homeostasis depends on coordinated delivery of de novo synthesized or recycled cargoes to the plasma membrane by exocytosis and their subsequent removal by rerouting them for recycling or degradation. Here, we report the characterization of protein affected trafficking 3 (pat3) mutant that we identified by an epifluorescence-based forward genetic screen for mutants defective in subcellular distribution of Arabidopsis auxin transporter PIN1-GFP. While pat3 displays largely normal plant morphology and development in nutrient-rich conditions, it shows strong ectopic intracellular accumulations of different plasma membrane cargoes in structures that resemble prevacuolar compartments (PVC) with an aberrant morphology. Genetic mapping revealed that pat3 is defective in vacuolar protein sorting 35A (VPS35A), a putative subunit of the retromer complex that mediates retrograde trafficking between the PVC and trans-Golgi network. Similarly, a mutant defective in another retromer subunit, vps29, shows comparable subcellular defects in PVC morphology and protein accumulation. Thus, our data provide evidence that the retromer components VPS35A and VPS29 are essential for normal PVC morphology and normal trafficking of plasma membrane proteins in plants. In addition, we show that, out of the three VPS35 retromer subunits present in Arabidopsis thaliana genome, the VPS35 homolog A plays a prevailing role in trafficking to the lytic vacuole, presenting another level of complexity in the retromer-dependent vacuolar sorting.

ZIFL1.1 Transporter Modulates Polar Auxin Transport by Stabilizing Membrane Abundance of Multiple PINs in Arabidopsis Root Tip

Plant Signaling & Behavior. Oct, 2013  |  Pubmed ID: 23857365

Cell-to-cell directional flow of the phytohormone auxin is primarily established by polar localization of the PIN auxin transporters, a process tightly regulated at multiple levels by auxin itself. We recently reported that, in the context of strong auxin flows, activity of the vacuolar ZIFL1.1 transporter is required for fine-tuning of polar auxin transport rates in the Arabidopsis root. In particular, ZIFL1.1 function protects plasma-membrane stability of the PIN 2 carrier in epidermal root tip cells under conditions normally triggering PIN 2 degradation. Here, we show that ZIFL1.1 activity at the root tip also promotes PIN 1 plasma-membrane abundance in central cylinder cells, thus supporting the notion that ZIFL1.1 acts as a general positive modulator of polar auxin transport in roots.

Overexpression of the Auxin Binding Protein1 Modulates PIN-dependent Auxin Transport in Tobacco Cells

PloS One. 2013  |  Pubmed ID: 23894588

Auxin binding protein 1 (ABP1) is a putative auxin receptor and its function is indispensable for plant growth and development. ABP1 has been shown to be involved in auxin-dependent regulation of cell division and expansion, in plasma-membrane-related processes such as changes in transmembrane potential, and in the regulation of clathrin-dependent endocytosis. However, the ABP1-regulated downstream pathway remains elusive.

Defining the Selectivity of Processes Along the Auxin Response Chain: a Study Using Auxin Analogues

The New Phytologist. Dec, 2013  |  Pubmed ID: 23914741

The mode of action of auxin is based on its non-uniform distribution within tissues and organs. Despite the wide use of several auxin analogues in research and agriculture, little is known about the specificity of different auxin-related transport and signalling processes towards these compounds. Using seedlings of Arabidopsis thaliana and suspension-cultured cells of Nicotiana tabacum (BY-2), the physiological activity of several auxin analogues was investigated, together with their capacity to induce auxin-dependent gene expression, to inhibit endocytosis and to be transported across the plasma membrane. This study shows that the specificity criteria for different auxin-related processes vary widely. Notably, the special behaviour of some synthetic auxin analogues suggests that they might be useful tools in investigations of the molecular mechanism of auxin action. Thus, due to their differential stimulatory effects on DR5 expression, indole-3-propionic (IPA) and 2,4,5-trichlorophenoxy acetic (2,4,5-T) acids can serve in studies of TRANSPORT INHIBITOR RESPONSE 1/AUXIN SIGNALLING F-BOX (TIR1/AFB)-mediated auxin signalling, and 5-fluoroindole-3-acetic acid (5-F-IAA) can help to discriminate between transcriptional and non-transcriptional pathways of auxin signalling. The results demonstrate that the major determinants for the auxin-like physiological potential of a particular compound are very complex and involve its chemical and metabolic stability, its ability to distribute in tissues in a polar manner and its activity towards auxin signalling machinery.

Role of the Arabidopsis PIN6 Auxin Transporter in Auxin Homeostasis and Auxin-mediated Development

PloS One. 2013  |  Pubmed ID: 23922907

Plant-specific PIN-formed (PIN) efflux transporters for the plant hormone auxin are required for tissue-specific directional auxin transport and cellular auxin homeostasis. The Arabidopsis PIN protein family has been shown to play important roles in developmental processes such as embryogenesis, organogenesis, vascular tissue differentiation, root meristem patterning and tropic growth. Here we analyzed roles of the less characterised Arabidopsis PIN6 auxin transporter. PIN6 is auxin-inducible and is expressed during multiple auxin-regulated developmental processes. Loss of pin6 function interfered with primary root growth and lateral root development. Misexpression of PIN6 affected auxin transport and interfered with auxin homeostasis in other growth processes such as shoot apical dominance, lateral root primordia development, adventitious root formation, root hair outgrowth and root waving. These changes in auxin-regulated growth correlated with a reduction in total auxin transport as well as with an altered activity of DR5-GUS auxin response reporter. Overall, the data indicate that PIN6 regulates auxin homeostasis during plant development.

Adaptor Protein Complex 2-mediated Endocytosis is Crucial for Male Reproductive Organ Development in Arabidopsis

The Plant Cell. Aug, 2013  |  Pubmed ID: 23975898

Fertilization in flowering plants requires the temporal and spatial coordination of many developmental processes, including pollen production, anther dehiscence, ovule production, and pollen tube elongation. However, it remains elusive as to how this coordination occurs during reproduction. Here, we present evidence that endocytosis, involving heterotetrameric adaptor protein complex 2 (AP-2), plays a crucial role in fertilization. An Arabidopsis thaliana mutant ap2m displays multiple defects in pollen production and viability, as well as elongation of staminal filaments and pollen tubes, all of which are pivotal processes needed for fertilization. Of these abnormalities, the defects in elongation of staminal filaments and pollen tubes were partially rescued by exogenous auxin. Moreover, DR5rev:GFP (for green fluorescent protein) expression was greatly reduced in filaments and anthers in ap2m mutant plants. At the cellular level, ap2m mutants displayed defects in both endocytosis of N-(3-triethylammonium-propyl)-4-(4-diethylaminophenylhexatrienyl) pyridinium dibromide, a lypophilic dye used as an endocytosis marker, and polar localization of auxin-efflux carrier PIN FORMED2 (PIN2) in the stamen filaments. Moreover, these defects were phenocopied by treatment with Tyrphostin A23, an inhibitor of endocytosis. Based on these results, we propose that AP-2-dependent endocytosis plays a crucial role in coordinating the multiple developmental aspects of male reproductive organs by modulating cellular auxin level through the regulation of the amount and polarity of PINs.

The Clathrin Adaptor Complex AP-2 Mediates Endocytosis of Brassinosteroid Insensitive1 in Arabidopsis

The Plant Cell. Aug, 2013  |  Pubmed ID: 23975899

Clathrin-mediated endocytosis (CME) regulates many aspects of plant development, including hormone signaling and responses to environmental stresses. Despite the importance of this process, the machinery that regulates CME in plants is largely unknown. In mammals, the heterotetrameric adaptor protein complex-2 (AP-2) is required for the formation of clathrin-coated vesicles at the plasma membrane (PM). Although the existence of AP-2 has been predicted in Arabidopsis thaliana, the biochemistry and functionality of the complex is still uncharacterized. Here, we identified all the subunits of the Arabidopsis AP-2 by tandem affinity purification and found that one of the large AP-2 subunits, AP2A1, localized at the PM and interacted with clathrin. Furthermore, endocytosis of the leucine-rich repeat receptor kinase, brassinosteroid insensitive1 (BRI1), was shown to depend on AP-2. Knockdown of the two Arabidopsis AP2A genes or overexpression of a dominant-negative version of the medium AP-2 subunit, AP2M, impaired BRI1 endocytosis and enhanced the brassinosteroid signaling. Our data reveal that the CME machinery in Arabidopsis is evolutionarily conserved and that AP-2 functions in receptor-mediated endocytosis.

A Map of Cell Type-specific Auxin Responses

Molecular Systems Biology. 2013  |  Pubmed ID: 24022006

In plants, changes in local auxin concentrations can trigger a range of developmental processes as distinct tissues respond differently to the same auxin stimulus. However, little is known about how auxin is interpreted by individual cell types. We performed a transcriptomic analysis of responses to auxin within four distinct tissues of the Arabidopsis thaliana root and demonstrate that different cell types show competence for discrete responses. The majority of auxin-responsive genes displayed a spatial bias in their induction or repression. The novel data set was used to examine how auxin influences tissue-specific transcriptional regulation of cell-identity markers. Additionally, the data were used in combination with spatial expression maps of the root to plot a transcriptomic auxin-response gradient across the apical and basal meristem. The readout revealed a strong correlation for thousands of genes between the relative response to auxin and expression along the longitudinal axis of the root. This data set and comparative analysis provide a transcriptome-level spatial breakdown of the response to auxin within an organ where this hormone mediates many aspects of development.

ECHIDNA-mediated Post-Golgi Trafficking of Auxin Carriers for Differential Cell Elongation

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. Oct, 2013  |  Pubmed ID: 24043780

The plant hormone indole-acetic acid (auxin) is essential for many aspects of plant development. Auxin-mediated growth regulation typically involves the establishment of an auxin concentration gradient mediated by polarly localized auxin transporters. The localization of auxin carriers and their amount at the plasma membrane are controlled by membrane trafficking processes such as secretion, endocytosis, and recycling. In contrast to endocytosis or recycling, how the secretory pathway mediates the localization of auxin carriers is not well understood. In this study we have used the differential cell elongation process during apical hook development to elucidate the mechanisms underlying the post-Golgi trafficking of auxin carriers in Arabidopsis. We show that differential cell elongation during apical hook development is defective in Arabidopsis mutant echidna (ech). ECH protein is required for the trans-Golgi network (TGN)-mediated trafficking of the auxin influx carrier AUX1 to the plasma membrane. In contrast, ech mutation only marginally perturbs the trafficking of the highly related auxin influx carrier LIKE-AUX1-3 or the auxin efflux carrier PIN-FORMED-3, both also involved in hook development. Electron tomography reveals that the trafficking defects in ech mutant are associated with the perturbation of secretory vesicle genesis from the TGN. Our results identify differential mechanisms for the post-Golgi trafficking of de novo-synthesized auxin carriers to plasma membrane from the TGN and reveal how trafficking of auxin influx carriers mediates the control of differential cell elongation in apical hook development.

Sequential Induction of Auxin Efflux and Influx Carriers Regulates Lateral Root Emergence

Molecular Systems Biology. 2013  |  Pubmed ID: 24150423

In Arabidopsis, lateral roots originate from pericycle cells deep within the primary root. New lateral root primordia (LRP) have to emerge through several overlaying tissues. Here, we report that auxin produced in new LRP is transported towards the outer tissues where it triggers cell separation by inducing both the auxin influx carrier LAX3 and cell-wall enzymes. LAX3 is expressed in just two cell files overlaying new LRP. To understand how this striking pattern of LAX3 expression is regulated, we developed a mathematical model that captures the network regulating its expression and auxin transport within realistic three-dimensional cell and tissue geometries. Our model revealed that, for the LAX3 spatial expression to be robust to natural variations in root tissue geometry, an efflux carrier is required--later identified to be PIN3. To prevent LAX3 from being transiently expressed in multiple cell files, PIN3 and LAX3 must be induced consecutively, which we later demonstrated to be the case. Our study exemplifies how mathematical models can be used to direct experiments to elucidate complex developmental processes.

Tightly Controlled WRKY23 Expression Mediates Arabidopsis Embryo Development

EMBO Reports. Dec, 2013  |  Pubmed ID: 24157946

The development of a multicellular embryo from a single zygote is a complex and highly organized process that is far from understood. In higher plants, apical-basal patterning mechanisms are crucial to correctly specify root and shoot stem cell niches that will sustain and drive post-embryonic plant growth and development. The auxin-responsive AtWRKY23 transcription factor is expressed from early embryogenesis onwards and the timing and localization of its expression overlaps with the root stem cell niche. Knocking down WRKY23 transcript levels or expression of a dominant-negative WRKY23 version via a translational fusion with the SRDX repressor domain affected both apical-basal axis formation as well as installation of the root stem cell niche. WRKY23 expression is affected by two well-known root stem cell specification mechanisms, that is, SHORTROOT and MONOPTEROS-BODENLOS signalling and can partially rescue the root-forming inability of mp embryos. On the basis of these results, we postulate that a tightly controlled WRKY23 expression is involved in the regulation of both auxin-dependent and auxin-independent signalling pathways towards stem cell specification.

Local Auxin Sources Orient the Apical-basal Axis in Arabidopsis Embryos

Current Biology : CB. Dec, 2013  |  Pubmed ID: 24291089

Establishment of the embryonic axis foreshadows the main body axis of adults both in plants and in animals, but underlying mechanisms are considered distinct. Plants utilize directional, cell-to-cell transport of the growth hormone auxin to generate an asymmetric auxin response that specifies the embryonic apical-basal axis. The auxin flow directionality depends on the polarized subcellular localization of PIN-FORMED (PIN) auxin transporters. It remains unknown which mechanisms and spatial cues guide cell polarization and axis orientation in early embryos. Herein, we provide conceptually novel insights into the formation of embryonic axis in Arabidopsis by identifying a crucial role of localized tryptophan-dependent auxin biosynthesis. Local auxin production at the base of young embryos and the accompanying PIN7-mediated auxin flow toward the proembryo are required for the apical auxin response maximum and the specification of apical embryonic structures. Later in embryogenesis, the precisely timed onset of localized apical auxin biosynthesis mediates PIN1 polarization, basal auxin response maximum, and specification of the root pole. Thus, the tight spatiotemporal control of distinct local auxin sources provides a necessary, non-cell-autonomous trigger for the coordinated cell polarization and subsequent apical-basal axis orientation during embryogenesis and, presumably, also for other polarization events during postembryonic plant life.

Modeling Framework for the Establishment of the Apical-basal Embryonic Axis in Plants

Current Biology : CB. Dec, 2013  |  Pubmed ID: 24291090

The apical-basal axis of the early plant embryo determines the body plan of the adult organism. To establish a polarized embryonic axis, plants evolved a unique mechanism that involves directional, cell-to-cell transport of the growth regulator auxin. Auxin transport relies on PIN auxin transporters, whose polar subcellular localization determines the flow directionality. PIN-mediated auxin transport mediates the spatial and temporal activity of the auxin response machinery that contributes to embryo patterning processes, including establishment of the apical (shoot) and basal (root) embryo poles. However, little is known of upstream mechanisms guiding the (re)polarization of auxin fluxes during embryogenesis. Here, we developed a model of plant embryogenesis that correctly generates emergent cell polarities and auxin-mediated sequential initiation of apical-basal axis of plant embryo. The model relies on two precisely localized auxin sources and a feedback between auxin and the polar, subcellular PIN transporter localization. Simulations reproduced PIN polarity and auxin distribution, as well as previously unknown polarization events during early embryogenesis. The spectrum of validated model predictions suggests that our model corresponds to a minimal mechanistic framework for initiation and orientation of the apical-basal axis to guide both embryonic and postembryonic plant development.

Calcium: The Missing Link in Auxin Action

Plants (Basel, Switzerland). Oct, 2013  |  Pubmed ID: 27137397

Due to their sessile lifestyles, plants need to deal with the limitations and stresses imposed by the changing environment. Plants cope with these by a remarkable developmental flexibility, which is embedded in their strategy to survive. Plants can adjust their size, shape and number of organs, bend according to gravity and light, and regenerate tissues that were damaged, utilizing a coordinating, intercellular signal, the plant hormone, auxin. Another versatile signal is the cation, Ca(2+), which is a crucial second messenger for many rapid cellular processes during responses to a wide range of endogenous and environmental signals, such as hormones, light, drought stress and others. Auxin is a good candidate for one of these Ca(2+)-activating signals. However, the role of auxin-induced Ca(2+) signaling is poorly understood. Here, we will provide an overview of possible developmental and physiological roles, as well as mechanisms underlying the interconnection of Ca(2+) and auxin signaling.

WOX5-IAA17 Feedback Circuit-mediated Cellular Auxin Response is Crucial for the Patterning of Root Stem Cell Niches in Arabidopsis

Molecular Plant. Feb, 2014  |  Pubmed ID: 23939433

In plants, the patterning of stem cell-enriched meristems requires a graded auxin response maximum that emerges from the concerted action of polar auxin transport, auxin biosynthesis, auxin metabolism, and cellular auxin response machinery. However, mechanisms underlying this auxin response maximum-mediated root stem cell maintenance are not fully understood. Here, we present unexpected evidence that WUSCHEL-RELATED HOMEOBOX 5 (WOX5) transcription factor modulates expression of auxin biosynthetic genes in the quiescent center (QC) of the root and thus provides a robust mechanism for the maintenance of auxin response maximum in the root tip. This WOX5 action is balanced through the activity of indole-3-acetic acid 17 (IAA17) auxin response repressor. Our combined genetic, cell biology, and computational modeling studies revealed a previously uncharacterized feedback loop linking WOX5-mediated auxin production to IAA17-dependent repression of auxin responses. This WOX5-IAA17 feedback circuit further assures the maintenance of auxin response maximum in the root tip and thereby contributes to the maintenance of distal stem cell (DSC) populations. Our experimental studies and in silico computer simulations both demonstrate that the WOX5-IAA17 feedback circuit is essential for the maintenance of auxin gradient in the root tip and the auxin-mediated root DSC differentiation.

Inter-regulation of the Unfolded Protein Response and Auxin Signaling

The Plant Journal : for Cell and Molecular Biology. Jan, 2014  |  Pubmed ID: 24180465

The unfolded protein response (UPR) is a signaling network triggered by overload of protein-folding demand in the endoplasmic reticulum (ER), a condition termed ER stress. The UPR is critical for growth and development; nonetheless, connections between the UPR and other cellular regulatory processes remain largely unknown. Here, we identify a link between the UPR and the phytohormone auxin, a master regulator of plant physiology. We show that ER stress triggers down-regulation of auxin receptors and transporters in Arabidopsis thaliana. We also demonstrate that an Arabidopsis mutant of a conserved ER stress sensor IRE1 exhibits defects in the auxin response and levels. These data not only support that the plant IRE1 is required for auxin homeostasis, they also reveal a species-specific feature of IRE1 in multicellular eukaryotes. Furthermore, by establishing that UPR activation is reduced in mutants of ER-localized auxin transporters, including PIN5, we define a long-neglected biological significance of ER-based auxin regulation. We further examine the functional relationship of IRE1 and PIN5 by showing that an ire1 pin5 triple mutant enhances defects of UPR activation and auxin homeostasis in ire1 or pin5. Our results imply that the plant UPR has evolved a hormone-dependent strategy for coordinating ER function with physiological processes.

Analyzing the in Vivo Status of Exogenously Applied Auxins: a HPLC-based Method to Characterize the Intracellularly Localized Auxin Transporters

Methods in Molecular Biology (Clifton, N.J.). 2014  |  Pubmed ID: 24306879

Exogenous application of biologically important molecules for plant growth promotion and/or regulation is very common both in plant research and horticulture. Plant hormones such as auxins and cytokinins are classes of compounds which are often applied exogenously. Nevertheless, plants possess a well-established machinery to regulate the active pool of exogenously applied compounds by converting them to metabolites and conjugates. Consequently, it is often very useful to know the in vivo status of applied compounds to connect them with some of the regulatory events in plant developmental processes. The in vivo status of applied compounds can be measured by incubating plants with radiolabeled compounds, followed by extraction, purification, and HPLC metabolic profiling of plant extracts. Recently we have used this method to characterize the intracellularly localized PIN protein, PIN5. Here we explain the method in detail, with a focus on general application.

Expression of TWISTED DWARF1 Lacking Its In-plane Membrane Anchor Leads to Increased Cell Elongation and Hypermorphic Growth

The Plant Journal : for Cell and Molecular Biology. Jan, 2014  |  Pubmed ID: 24313847

Plant growth is achieved predominantly by cellular elongation, which is thought to be controlled on several levels by apoplastic auxin. Auxin export into the apoplast is achieved by plasma membrane efflux catalysts of the PIN-FORMED (PIN) and ATP-binding cassette protein subfamily B/phosphor-glycoprotein (ABCB/PGP) classes; the latter were shown to depend on interaction with the FKBP42, TWISTED DWARF1 (TWD1). Here by using a transgenic approach in combination with phenotypical, biochemical and cell biological analyses we demonstrate the importance of a putative C-terminal in-plane membrane anchor of TWD1 in the regulation of ABCB-mediated auxin transport. In contrast with dwarfed twd1 loss-of-function alleles, TWD1 gain-of-function lines that lack a putative in-plane membrane anchor (HA-TWD1-Ct ) show hypermorphic plant architecture, characterized by enhanced stem length and leaf surface but reduced shoot branching. Greater hypocotyl length is the result of enhanced cell elongation that correlates with reduced polar auxin transport capacity for HA-TWD1-Ct . As a consequence, HA-TWD1-Ct displays higher hypocotyl auxin accumulation, which is shown to result in elevated auxin-induced cell elongation rates. Our data highlight the importance of C-terminal membrane anchoring for TWD1 action, which is required for specific regulation of ABCB-mediated auxin transport. These data support a model in which TWD1 controls lateral ABCB1-mediated export into the apoplast, which is required for auxin-mediated cell elongation.

BEX1/ARF1A1C is Required for BFA-sensitive Recycling of PIN Auxin Transporters and Auxin-mediated Development in Arabidopsis

Plant & Cell Physiology. Apr, 2014  |  Pubmed ID: 24369434

Correct positioning of membrane proteins is an essential process in eukaryotic organisms. The plant hormone auxin is distributed through intercellular transport and triggers various cellular responses. Auxin transporters of the PIN-FORMED (PIN) family localize asymmetrically at the plasma membrane (PM) and mediate the directional transport of auxin between cells. A fungal toxin, brefeldin A (BFA), inhibits a subset of guanine nucleotide exchange factors for ADP-ribosylation factor small GTPases (ARF GEFs) including GNOM, which plays a major role in localization of PIN1 predominantly to the basal side of the PM. The Arabidopsis genome encodes 19 ARF-related putative GTPases. However, ARF components involved in PIN1 localization have been genetically poorly defined. Using a fluorescence imaging-based forward genetic approach, we identified an Arabidopsis mutant, bfa-visualized exocytic trafficking defective1 (bex1), in which PM localization of PIN1-green fluorescent protein (GFP) as well as development is hypersensitive to BFA. We found that in bex1 a member of the ARF1 gene family, ARF1A1C, was mutated. ARF1A1C localizes to the trans-Golgi network/early endosome and Golgi apparatus, acts synergistically to BEN1/MIN7 ARF GEF and is important for PIN recycling to the PM. Consistent with the developmental importance of PIN proteins, functional interference with ARF1 resulted in an impaired auxin response gradient and various developmental defects including embryonic patterning defects and growth arrest. Our results show that ARF1A1C is essential for recycling of PIN auxin transporters and for various auxin-dependent developmental processes.

Plant Biology: Gatekeepers of the Road to Protein Perdition

Current Biology : CB. Jan, 2014  |  Pubmed ID: 24405674

Targeting membrane proteins for degradation requires the sequential action of ESCRT sub-complexes ESCRT-0 to ESCRT-III. Although this machinery is generally conserved among kingdoms, plants lack the essential ESCRT-0 components. A new report closes this gap by identifying a novel protein family that substitutes for ESCRT-0 function in plants.

VAN4 Encodes a Putative TRS120 That is Required for Normal Cell Growth and Vein Development in Arabidopsis

Plant & Cell Physiology. Apr, 2014  |  Pubmed ID: 24443495

Leaf venation develops complex patterns in angiosperms, but the mechanism underlying this process is largely unknown. To elucidate the molecular mechanisms governing vein pattern formation, we previously isolated vascular network defective (van) mutants that displayed venation discontinuities. Here, we report the phenotypic analysis of van4 mutants, and we identify and characterize the VAN4 gene. Detailed phenotypic analysis shows that van4 mutants are defective in procambium cell differentiation and subsequent vascular cell differentiation. Reduced shoot and root cell growth is observed in van4 mutants, suggesting that VAN4 function is important for cell growth and the establishment of venation continuity. Consistent with these phenotypes, the VAN4 gene is strongly expressed in vascular and meristematic cells. VAN4 encodes a putative TRS120, which is a known guanine nucleotide exchange factor (GEF) for Rab GTPase involved in regulating vesicle transport, and a known tethering factor that determines the specificity of membrane fusion. VAN4 protein localizes at the trans-Golgi network/early endosome (TGN/EE). Aberrant recycling of the auxin efflux carrier PIN proteins is observed in van4 mutants. These results suggest that VAN4-mediated exocytosis at the TGN plays important roles in plant vascular development and cell growth in shoot and root. Our identification of VAN4 as a putative TRS120 shows that Rab GTPases are crucial (in addition to ARF GTPases) for continuous vascular development, and provides further evidence for the importance of vesicle transport in leaf vascular formation.

Rho-GTPase-regulated Vesicle Trafficking in Plant Cell Polarity

Biochemical Society Transactions. Feb, 2014  |  Pubmed ID: 24450654

ROPs (Rho of plants) belong to a large family of plant-specific Rho-like small GTPases that function as essential molecular switches to control diverse cellular processes including cytoskeleton organization, cell polarization, cytokinesis, cell differentiation and vesicle trafficking. Although the machineries of vesicle trafficking and cell polarity in plants have been individually well addressed, how ROPs co-ordinate those processes is still largely unclear. Recent progress has been made towards an understanding of the co-ordination of ROP signalling and trafficking of PIN (PINFORMED) transporters for the plant hormone auxin in both root and leaf pavement cells. PIN transporters constantly shuttle between the endosomal compartments and the polar plasma membrane domains, therefore the modulation of PIN-dependent auxin transport between cells is a main developmental output of ROP-regulated vesicle trafficking. The present review focuses on these cellular mechanisms, especially the integration of ROP-based vesicle trafficking and plant cell polarity.

Auxin Transport and Activity Regulate Stomatal Patterning and Development

Nature Communications. 2014  |  Pubmed ID: 24463772

Stomata are two-celled valves that control epidermal pores whose spacing optimizes shoot-atmosphere gas exchange. They develop from protodermal cells after unequal divisions followed by an equal division and differentiation. The concentration of the hormone auxin, a master plant developmental regulator, is tightly controlled in time and space, but its role, if any, in stomatal formation is obscure. Here dynamic changes of auxin activity during stomatal development are monitored using auxin input (DII-VENUS) and output (DR5:VENUS) markers by time-lapse imaging. A decrease in auxin levels in the smaller daughter cell after unequal division presages the acquisition of a guard mother cell fate whose equal division produces the two guard cells. Thus, stomatal patterning requires auxin pathway control of stem cell compartment size, as well as auxin depletion that triggers a developmental switch from unequal to equal division.

Cellular Events During Interfascicular Cambium Ontogenesis in Inflorescence Stems of Arabidopsis

Protoplasma. Sep, 2014  |  Pubmed ID: 24526327

Development of cambium and its activity is important for our knowledge of the mechanism of secondary growth. Arabidopsis thaliana emerges as a good model plant for such a kind of study. Thus, this paper reports on cellular events taking place in the interfascicular regions of inflorescence stems of A. thaliana, leading to the development of interfascicular cambium from differentiated interfascicular parenchyma cells (IPC). These events are as follows: appearance of auxin accumulation, PIN1 gene expression, polar PIN1 protein localization in the basal plasma membrane and periclinal divisions. Distribution of auxin was observed to be higher in differentiating into cambium parenchyma cells compared to cells within the pith and cortex. Expression of PIN1 in IPC was always preceded by auxin accumulation. Basal localization of PIN1 was already established in the cells prior to their periclinal division. These cellular events initiated within parenchyma cells adjacent to the vascular bundles and successively extended from that point towards the middle region of the interfascicular area, located between neighboring vascular bundles. The final consequence of which was the closure of the cambial ring within the stem. Changes in the chemical composition of IPC walls were also detected and included changes of pectic epitopes, xyloglucans (XG) and extensins rich in hydroxyproline (HRGPs). In summary, results presented in this paper describe interfascicular cambium ontogenesis in terms of successive cellular events in the interfascicular regions of inflorescence stems of Arabidopsis.

The TPLATE Adaptor Complex Drives Clathrin-mediated Endocytosis in Plants

Cell. Feb, 2014  |  Pubmed ID: 24529374

Clathrin-mediated endocytosis is the major mechanism for eukaryotic plasma membrane-based proteome turn-over. In plants, clathrin-mediated endocytosis is essential for physiology and development, but the identification and organization of the machinery operating this process remains largely obscure. Here, we identified an eight-core-component protein complex, the TPLATE complex, essential for plant growth via its role as major adaptor module for clathrin-mediated endocytosis. This complex consists of evolutionarily unique proteins that associate closely with core endocytic elements. The TPLATE complex is recruited as dynamic foci at the plasma membrane preceding recruitment of adaptor protein complex 2, clathrin, and dynamin-related proteins. Reduced function of different complex components severely impaired internalization of assorted endocytic cargoes, demonstrating its pivotal role in clathrin-mediated endocytosis. Taken together, the TPLATE complex is an early endocytic module representing a unique evolutionary plant adaptation of the canonical eukaryotic pathway for clathrin-mediated endocytosis.

SAC Phosphoinositide Phosphatases at the Tonoplast Mediate Vacuolar Function in Arabidopsis

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. Feb, 2014  |  Pubmed ID: 24550313

Phosphatidylinositol (PtdIns) is a structural phospholipid that can be phosphorylated into various lipid signaling molecules, designated polyphosphoinositides (PPIs). The reversible phosphorylation of PPIs on the 3, 4, or 5 position of inositol is performed by a set of organelle-specific kinases and phosphatases, and the characteristic head groups make these molecules ideal for regulating biological processes in time and space. In yeast and mammals, PtdIns3P and PtdIns(3,5)P2 play crucial roles in trafficking toward the lytic compartments, whereas the role in plants is not yet fully understood. Here we identified the role of a land plant-specific subgroup of PPI phosphatases, the suppressor of actin 2 (SAC2) to SAC5, during vacuolar trafficking and morphogenesis in Arabidopsis thaliana. SAC2-SAC5 localize to the tonoplast along with PtdIns3P, the presumable product of their activity. In SAC gain- and loss-of-function mutants, the levels of PtdIns monophosphates and bisphosphates were changed, with opposite effects on the morphology of storage and lytic vacuoles, and the trafficking toward the vacuoles was defective. Moreover, multiple sac knockout mutants had an increased number of smaller storage and lytic vacuoles, whereas extralarge vacuoles were observed in the overexpression lines, correlating with various growth and developmental defects. The fragmented vacuolar phenotype of sac mutants could be mimicked by treating wild-type seedlings with PtdIns(3,5)P2, corroborating that this PPI is important for vacuole morphology. Taken together, these results provide evidence that PPIs, together with their metabolic enzymes SAC2-SAC5, are crucial for vacuolar trafficking and for vacuolar morphology and function in plants.

Cell Surface ABP1-TMK Auxin-sensing Complex Activates ROP GTPase Signaling

Science (New York, N.Y.). Feb, 2014  |  Pubmed ID: 24578577

Auxin-binding protein 1 (ABP1) was discovered nearly 40 years ago and was shown to be essential for plant development and morphogenesis, but its mode of action remains unclear. Here, we report that the plasma membrane-localized transmembrane kinase (TMK) receptor-like kinases interact with ABP1 and transduce auxin signal to activate plasma membrane-associated ROPs [Rho-like guanosine triphosphatases (GTPase) from plants], leading to changes in the cytoskeleton and the shape of leaf pavement cells in Arabidopsis. The interaction between ABP1 and TMK at the cell surface is induced by auxin and requires ABP1 sensing of auxin. These findings show that TMK proteins and ABP1 form a cell surface auxin perception complex that activates ROP signaling pathways, regulating nontranscriptional cytoplasmic responses and associated fundamental processes.

Polar Delivery in Plants; Commonalities and Differences to Animal Epithelial Cells

Open Biology. Apr, 2014  |  Pubmed ID: 24740985

Although plant and animal cells use a similar core mechanism to deliver proteins to the plasma membrane, their different lifestyle, body organization and specific cell structures resulted in the acquisition of regulatory mechanisms that vary in the two kingdoms. In particular, cell polarity regulators do not seem to be conserved, because genes encoding key components are absent in plant genomes. In plants, the broad knowledge on polarity derives from the study of auxin transporters, the PIN-FORMED proteins, in the model plant Arabidopsis thaliana. In animals, much information is provided from the study of polarity in epithelial cells that exhibit basolateral and luminal apical polarities, separated by tight junctions. In this review, we summarize the similarities and differences of the polarization mechanisms between plants and animals and survey the main genetic approaches that have been used to characterize new genes involved in polarity establishment in plants, including the frequently used forward and reverse genetics screens as well as a novel chemical genetics approach that is expected to overcome the limitation of classical genetics methods.

Cytokinin Controls Polarity of PIN1-dependent Auxin Transport During Lateral Root Organogenesis

Current Biology : CB. May, 2014  |  Pubmed ID: 24768050

The plant hormones auxin and cytokinin mutually coordinate their activities to control various aspects of development [1-9], and their crosstalk occurs at multiple levels [10, 11]. Cytokinin-mediated modulation of auxin transport provides an efficient means to regulate auxin distribution in plant organs. Here, we demonstrate that cytokinin does not merely control the overall auxin flow capacity, but might also act as a polarizing cue and control the auxin stream directionality during plant organogenesis. Cytokinin enhances the PIN-FORMED1 (PIN1) auxin transporter depletion at specific polar domains, thus rearranging the cellular PIN polarities and directly regulating the auxin flow direction. This selective cytokinin sensitivity correlates with the PIN protein phosphorylation degree. PIN1 phosphomimicking mutations, as well as enhanced phosphorylation in plants with modulated activities of PIN-specific kinases and phosphatases, desensitize PIN1 to cytokinin. Our results reveal conceptually novel, cytokinin-driven polarization mechanism that operates in developmental processes involving rapid auxin stream redirection, such as lateral root organogenesis, in which a gradual PIN polarity switch defines the growth axis of the newly formed organ.

Bipolar Plasma Membrane Distribution of Phosphoinositides and Their Requirement for Auxin-Mediated Cell Polarity and Patterning in Arabidopsis

The Plant Cell. May, 2014  |  Pubmed ID: 24876254

Cell polarity manifested by asymmetric distribution of cargoes, such as receptors and transporters, within the plasma membrane (PM) is crucial for essential functions in multicellular organisms. In plants, cell polarity (re)establishment is intimately linked to patterning processes. Despite the importance of cell polarity, its underlying mechanisms are still largely unknown, including the definition and distinctiveness of the polar domains within the PM. Here, we show in Arabidopsis thaliana that the signaling membrane components, the phosphoinositides phosphatidylinositol 4-phosphate (PtdIns4P) and phosphatidylinositol 4,5-bisphosphate [PtdIns(4,5)P2] as well as PtdIns4P 5-kinases mediating their interconversion, are specifically enriched at apical and basal polar plasma membrane domains. The PtdIns4P 5-kinases PIP5K1 and PIP5K2 are redundantly required for polar localization of specifically apical and basal cargoes, such as PIN-FORMED transporters for the plant hormone auxin. As a consequence of the polarity defects, instructive auxin gradients as well as embryonic and postembryonic patterning are severely compromised. Furthermore, auxin itself regulates PIP5K transcription and PtdIns4P and PtdIns(4,5)P2 levels, in particular their association with polar PM domains. Our results provide insight into the polar domain-delineating mechanisms in plant cells that depend on apical and basal distribution of membrane lipids and are essential for embryonic and postembryonic patterning.

Insights into the Localization and Function of the Membrane Trafficking Regulator GNOM ARF-GEF at the Golgi Apparatus in Arabidopsis

The Plant Cell. Jul, 2014  |  Pubmed ID: 25012191

GNOM is one of the most characterized membrane trafficking regulators in plants, with crucial roles in development. GNOM encodes an ARF-guanine nucleotide exchange factor (ARF-GEF) that activates small GTPases of the ARF (ADP ribosylation factor) class to mediate vesicle budding at endomembranes. The crucial role of GNOM in recycling of PIN auxin transporters and other proteins to the plasma membrane was identified in studies using the ARF-GEF inhibitor brefeldin A (BFA). GNOM, the most prominent regulator of recycling in plants, has been proposed to act and localize at so far elusive recycling endosomes. Here, we report the GNOM localization in context of its cellular function in Arabidopsis thaliana. State-of-the-art imaging, pharmacological interference, and ultrastructure analysis show that GNOM predominantly localizes to Golgi apparatus. Super-resolution confocal live imaging microscopy identified GNOM and its closest homolog GNOM-like 1 at distinct subdomains on Golgi cisternae. Short-term BFA treatment stabilizes GNOM at the Golgi apparatus, whereas prolonged exposures results in GNOM translocation to trans-Golgi network (TGN)/early endosomes (EEs). Malformed TGN/EE in gnom mutants suggests a role for GNOM in maintaining TGN/EE function. Our results redefine the subcellular action of GNOM and reevaluate the identity and function of recycling endosomes in plants.

An Auxin-mediated Shift Toward Growth Isotropy Promotes Organ Formation at the Shoot Meristem in Arabidopsis

Current Biology : CB. Oct, 2014  |  Pubmed ID: 25264254

To control morphogenesis, molecular regulatory networks have to interfere with the mechanical properties of the individual cells of developing organs and tissues, but how this is achieved is not well known. We study this issue here in the shoot meristem of higher plants, a group of undifferentiated cells where complex changes in growth rates and directions lead to the continuous formation of new organs. Here, we show that the plant hormone auxin plays an important role in this process via a dual, local effect on the extracellular matrix, the cell wall, which determines cell shape. Our study reveals that auxin not only causes a limited reduction in wall stiffness but also directly interferes with wall anisotropy via the regulation of cortical microtubule dynamics. We further show that to induce growth isotropy and organ outgrowth, auxin somehow interferes with the cortical microtubule-ordering activity of a network of proteins, including AUXIN BINDING PROTEIN 1 and KATANIN 1. Numerical simulations further indicate that the induced isotropy is sufficient to amplify the effects of the relatively minor changes in wall stiffness to promote organogenesis and the establishment of new growth axes in a robust manner.

Inhibition of Cell Expansion by Rapid ABP1-mediated Auxin Effect on Microtubules

Nature. Dec, 2014  |  Pubmed ID: 25409144

The prominent and evolutionarily ancient role of the plant hormone auxin is the regulation of cell expansion. Cell expansion requires ordered arrangement of the cytoskeleton but molecular mechanisms underlying its regulation by signalling molecules including auxin are unknown. Here we show in the model plant Arabidopsis thaliana that in elongating cells exogenous application of auxin or redistribution of endogenous auxin induces very rapid microtubule re-orientation from transverse to longitudinal, coherent with the inhibition of cell expansion. This fast auxin effect requires auxin binding protein 1 (ABP1) and involves a contribution of downstream signalling components such as ROP6 GTPase, ROP-interactive protein RIC1 and the microtubule-severing protein katanin. These components are required for rapid auxin- and ABP1-mediated re-orientation of microtubules to regulate cell elongation in roots and dark-grown hypocotyls as well as asymmetric growth during gravitropic responses.

Directional Auxin Transport Mechanisms in Early Diverging Land Plants

Current Biology : CB. Dec, 2014  |  Pubmed ID: 25448004

The emergence and radiation of multicellular land plants was driven by crucial innovations to their body plans. The directional transport of the phytohormone auxin represents a key, plant-specific mechanism for polarization and patterning in complex seed plants. Here, we show that already in the early diverging land plant lineage, as exemplified by the moss Physcomitrella patens, auxin transport by PIN transporters is operational and diversified into ER-localized and plasma membrane-localized PIN proteins. Gain-of-function and loss-of-function analyses revealed that PIN-dependent intercellular auxin transport in Physcomitrella mediates crucial developmental transitions in tip-growing filaments and waves of polarization and differentiation in leaf-like structures. Plasma membrane PIN proteins localize in a polar manner to the tips of moss filaments, revealing an unexpected relation between polarization mechanisms in moss tip-growing cells and multicellular tissues of seed plants. Our results trace the origins of polarization and auxin-mediated patterning mechanisms and highlight the crucial role of polarized auxin transport during the evolution of multicellular land plants.

Bimodal Regulation of ICR1 Levels Generates Self-organizing Auxin Distribution

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. Dec, 2014  |  Pubmed ID: 25468974

Auxin polar transport, local maxima, and gradients have become an important model system for studying self-organization. Auxin distribution is regulated by auxin-dependent positive feedback loops that are not well-understood at the molecular level. Previously, we showed the involvement of the RHO of Plants (ROP) effector INTERACTOR of CONSTITUTIVELY active ROP 1 (ICR1) in regulation of auxin transport and that ICR1 levels are posttranscriptionally repressed at the site of maximum auxin accumulation at the root tip. Here, we show that bimodal regulation of ICR1 levels by auxin is essential for regulating formation of auxin local maxima and gradients. ICR1 levels increase concomitant with increase in auxin response in lateral root primordia, cotyledon tips, and provascular tissues. However, in the embryo hypophysis and root meristem, when auxin exceeds critical levels, ICR1 is rapidly destabilized by an SCF(TIR1/AFB) [SKP, Cullin, F-box (transport inhibitor response 1/auxin signaling F-box protein)]-dependent auxin signaling mechanism. Furthermore, ectopic expression of ICR1 in the embryo hypophysis resulted in reduction of auxin accumulation and concomitant root growth arrest. ICR1 disappeared during root regeneration and lateral root initiation concomitantly with the formation of a local auxin maximum in response to external auxin treatments and transiently after gravitropic stimulation. Destabilization of ICR1 was impaired after inhibition of auxin transport and signaling, proteasome function, and protein synthesis. A mathematical model based on these findings shows that an in vivo-like auxin distribution, rootward auxin flux, and shootward reflux can be simulated without assuming preexisting tissue polarity. Our experimental results and mathematical modeling indicate that regulation of auxin distribution is tightly associated with auxin-dependent ICR1 levels.

Intracellular Trafficking and PIN-mediated Cell Polarity During Tropic Responses in Plants

Current Opinion in Plant Biology. Feb, 2015  |  Pubmed ID: 25553419

Subcellular trafficking and cell polarity are basic cellular processes crucial for plant development including tropisms - directional growth responses to environmental stimuli such as light or gravity. Tropisms involve auxin gradient across the stimulated organ that underlies the differential cell elongation and bending. The perception of light or gravity is followed by changes in the polar, cellular distribution of the PIN auxin transporters. Such re-specification of polar trafficking pathways is a part of the mechanism, by which plants adjust their phenotype to environmental changes. Recent genetic and biochemical studies provided the important insights into mechanisms of PIN polarization during tropisms. In this review, we summarize the present state of knowledge on dynamic PIN repolarization and its specific regulations during hypocotyl tropisms.

Auxin Transporters and Binding Proteins at a Glance

Journal of Cell Science. Jan, 2015  |  Pubmed ID: 25556248

The plant hormone auxin is a key regulator of plant growth and development. Differences in auxin distribution within tissues are mediated by the polar auxin transport machinery, and cellular auxin responses occur depending on changes in cellular auxin levels. Multiple receptor systems at the cell surface and in the interior operate to sense and interpret fluctuations in auxin distribution that occur during plant development. Until now, three proteins or protein complexes that can bind auxin have been identified. SCF(TIR1) [a SKP1-cullin-1-F-box complex that contains transport inhibitor response 1 (TIR1) as the F-box protein] and S-phase-kinase-associated protein 2 (SKP2) localize to the nucleus, whereas auxin-binding protein 1 (ABP1), predominantly associates with the endoplasmic reticulum and cell surface. In this Cell Science at a Glance article, we summarize recent discoveries in the field of auxin transport and signaling that have led to the identification of new components of these pathways, as well as their mutual interaction.

PIN-dependent Auxin Transport: Action, Regulation, and Evolution

The Plant Cell. Jan, 2015  |  Pubmed ID: 25604445

Auxin participates in a multitude of developmental processes, as well as responses to environmental cues. Compared with other plant hormones, auxin exhibits a unique property, as it undergoes directional, cell-to-cell transport facilitated by plasma membrane-localized transport proteins. Among them, a prominent role has been ascribed to the PIN family of auxin efflux facilitators. PIN proteins direct polar auxin transport on account of their asymmetric subcellular localizations. In this review, we provide an overview of the multiple developmental roles of PIN proteins, including the atypical endoplasmic reticulum-localized members of the family, and look at the family from an evolutionary perspective. Next, we cover the cell biological and molecular aspects of PIN function, in particular the establishment of their polar subcellular localization. Hormonal and environmental inputs into the regulation of PIN action are summarized as well.

The Cyclophilin A DIAGEOTROPICA Gene Affects Auxin Transport in Both Root and Shoot to Control Lateral Root Formation

Development (Cambridge, England). Feb, 2015  |  Pubmed ID: 25617431

Cyclophilin A is a conserved peptidyl-prolyl cis-trans isomerase (PPIase) best known as the cellular receptor of the immunosuppressant cyclosporine A. Despite significant effort, evidence of developmental functions of cyclophilin A in non-plant systems has remained obscure. Mutations in a tomato (Solanum lycopersicum) cyclophilin A ortholog, DIAGEOTROPICA (DGT), have been shown to abolish the organogenesis of lateral roots; however, a mechanistic explanation of the phenotype is lacking. Here, we show that the dgt mutant lacks auxin maxima relevant to priming and specification of lateral root founder cells. DGT is expressed in shoot and root, and localizes to both the nucleus and cytoplasm during lateral root organogenesis. Mutation of ENTIRE/IAA9, a member of the auxin-responsive Aux/IAA protein family of transcriptional repressors, partially restores the inability of dgt to initiate lateral root primordia but not the primordia outgrowth. By comparison, grafting of a wild-type scion restores the process of lateral root formation, consistent with participation of a mobile signal. Antibodies do not detect movement of the DGT protein into the dgt rootstock; however, experiments with radiolabeled auxin and an auxin-specific microelectrode demonstrate abnormal auxin fluxes. Functional studies of DGT in heterologous yeast and tobacco-leaf auxin-transport systems demonstrate that DGT negatively regulates PIN-FORMED (PIN) auxin efflux transporters by affecting their plasma membrane localization. Studies in tomato support complex effects of the dgt mutation on PIN expression level, expression domain and plasma membrane localization. Our data demonstrate that DGT regulates auxin transport in lateral root formation.

Plant Embryogenesis Requires AUX/LAX-mediated Auxin Influx

Development (Cambridge, England). Feb, 2015  |  Pubmed ID: 25617434

The plant hormone auxin and its directional transport are known to play a crucial role in defining the embryonic axis and subsequent development of the body plan. Although the role of PIN auxin efflux transporters has been clearly assigned during embryonic shoot and root specification, the role of the auxin influx carriers AUX1 and LIKE-AUX1 (LAX) proteins is not well established. Here, we used chemical and genetic tools on Brassica napus microspore-derived embryos and Arabidopsis thaliana zygotic embryos, and demonstrate that AUX1, LAX1 and LAX2 are required for both shoot and root pole formation, in concert with PIN efflux carriers. Furthermore, we uncovered a positive-feedback loop between MONOPTEROS (ARF5)-dependent auxin signalling and auxin transport. This MONOPTEROS-dependent transcriptional regulation of auxin influx (AUX1, LAX1 and LAX2) and auxin efflux (PIN1 and PIN4) carriers by MONOPTEROS helps to maintain proper auxin transport to the root tip. These results indicate that auxin-dependent cell specification during embryo development requires balanced auxin transport involving both influx and efflux mechanisms, and that this transport is maintained by a positive transcriptional feedback on auxin signalling.

An Early Secretory Pathway Mediated by GNOM-LIKE 1 and GNOM is Essential for Basal Polarity Establishment in Arabidopsis Thaliana

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. Feb, 2015  |  Pubmed ID: 25646449

Spatial regulation of the plant hormone indole-3-acetic acid (IAA, or auxin) is essential for plant development. Auxin gradient establishment is mediated by polarly localized auxin transporters, including PIN-FORMED (PIN) proteins. Their localization and abundance at the plasma membrane are tightly regulated by endomembrane machinery, especially the endocytic and recycling pathways mediated by the ADP ribosylation factor guanine nucleotide exchange factor (ARF-GEF) GNOM. We assessed the role of the early secretory pathway in establishing PIN1 polarity in Arabidopsis thaliana by pharmacological and genetic approaches. We identified the compound endosidin 8 (ES8), which selectively interferes with PIN1 basal polarity without altering the polarity of apical proteins. ES8 alters the auxin distribution pattern in the root and induces a strong developmental phenotype, including reduced root length. The ARF-GEF-defective mutants gnom-like 1 (gnl1-1) and gnom (van7) are significantly resistant to ES8. The compound does not affect recycling or vacuolar trafficking of PIN1 but leads to its intracellular accumulation, resulting in loss of PIN1 basal polarity at the plasma membrane. Our data confirm a role for GNOM in endoplasmic reticulum (ER)-Golgi trafficking and reveal that a GNL1/GNOM-mediated early secretory pathway selectively regulates PIN1 basal polarity establishment in a manner essential for normal plant development.

Asymmetric Localizations of the ABC Transporter PaPDR1 Trace Paths of Directional Strigolactone Transport

Current Biology : CB. Mar, 2015  |  Pubmed ID: 25683808

Strigolactones, first discovered as germination stimulants for parasitic weeds [1], are carotenoid-derived phytohormones that play major roles in inhibiting lateral bud outgrowth and promoting plant-mycorrhizal symbiosis [2-4]. Furthermore, strigolactones are involved in the regulation of lateral and adventitious root development, root cell division [5, 6], secondary growth [7], and leaf senescence [8]. Recently, we discovered the strigolactone transporter Petunia axillaris PLEIOTROPIC DRUG RESISTANCE 1 (PaPDR1), which is required for efficient mycorrhizal colonization and inhibition of lateral bud outgrowth [9]. However, how strigolactones are transported through the plant remained unknown. Here we show that PaPDR1 exhibits a cell-type-specific asymmetric localization in different root tissues. In root tips, PaPDR1 is co-expressed with the strigolactone biosynthetic gene DAD1 (CCD8), and it is localized at the apical membrane of root hypodermal cells, presumably mediating the shootward transport of strigolactone. Above the root tip, in the hypodermal passage cells that form gates for the entry of mycorrhizal fungi, PaPDR1 is present in the outer-lateral membrane, compatible with its postulated function as strigolactone exporter from root to soil. Transport studies are in line with our localization studies since (1) a papdr1 mutant displays impaired transport of strigolactones out of the root tip to the shoot as well as into the rhizosphere and (2) DAD1 expression and PIN1/PIN2 levels change in plants deregulated for PDR1 expression, suggestive of variations in endogenous strigolactone contents. In conclusion, our results indicate that the polar localizations of PaPDR1 mediate directional shootward strigolactone transport as well as localized exudation into the soil.

ABP1: Finally Docking

Molecular Plant. Mar, 2015  |  Pubmed ID: 25702522

Calcium is an Organizer of Cell Polarity in Plants

Biochimica Et Biophysica Acta. Sep, 2015  |  Pubmed ID: 25725133

Cell polarity is a fundamental property of pro- and eukaryotic cells. It is necessary for coordination of cell division, cell morphogenesis and signaling processes. How polarity is generated and maintained is a complex issue governed by interconnected feed-back regulations between small GTPase signaling and membrane tension-based signaling that controls membrane trafficking, and cytoskeleton organization and dynamics. Here, we will review the potential role for calcium as a crucial signal that connects and coordinates the respective processes during polarization processes in plants. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: 13th European Symposium on Calcium.

The Arabidopsis Synaptotagmin1 is Enriched in Endoplasmic Reticulum-plasma Membrane Contact Sites and Confers Cellular Resistance to Mechanical Stresses

Plant Physiology. May, 2015  |  Pubmed ID: 25792253

Eukaryotic endoplasmic reticulum (ER)-plasma membrane (PM) contact sites are evolutionarily conserved microdomains that have important roles in specialized metabolic functions such as ER-PM communication, lipid homeostasis, and Ca(2+) influx. Despite recent advances in knowledge about ER-PM contact site components and functions in yeast (Saccharomyces cerevisiae) and mammals, relatively little is known about the functional significance of these structures in plants. In this report, we characterize the Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana) phospholipid binding Synaptotagmin1 (SYT1) as a plant ortholog of the mammal extended synaptotagmins and yeast tricalbins families of ER-PM anchors. We propose that SYT1 functions at ER-PM contact sites because it displays a dual ER-PM localization, it is enriched in microtubule-depleted regions at the cell cortex, and it colocalizes with Vesicle-Associated Protein27-1, a known ER-PM marker. Furthermore, biochemical and physiological analyses indicate that SYT1 might function as an electrostatic phospholipid anchor conferring mechanical stability in plant cells. Together, the subcellular localization and functional characterization of SYT1 highlights a putative role of plant ER-PM contact site components in the cellular adaptation to environmental stresses.

Osmotic Stress Modulates the Balance Between Exocytosis and Clathrin-Mediated Endocytosis in Arabidopsis Thaliana

Molecular Plant. Aug, 2015  |  Pubmed ID: 25795554

The sessile life style of plants creates the need to deal with an often adverse environment, in which water availability can change on a daily basis, challenging the cellular physiology and integrity. Changes in osmotic conditions disrupt the equilibrium of the plasma membrane: hypoosmotic conditions increase and hyperosmotic environment decrease the cell volume. Here, we show that short-term extracellular osmotic treatments are closely followed by a shift in the balance between endocytosis and exocytosis in root meristem cells. Acute hyperosmotic treatments (ionic and nonionic) enhance clathrin-mediated endocytosis simultaneously attenuating exocytosis, whereas hypoosmotic treatments have the opposite effects. In addition to clathrin recruitment to the plasma membrane, components of early endocytic trafficking are essential during hyperosmotic stress responses. Consequently, growth of seedlings defective in elements of clathrin or early endocytic machinery is more sensitive to hyperosmotic treatments. We also found that the endocytotic response to a change of osmotic status in the environment is dominant over the presumably evolutionary more recent regulatory effect of plant hormones, such as auxin. These results imply that osmotic perturbation influences the balance between endocytosis and exocytosis acting through clathrin-mediated endocytosis. We propose that tension on the plasma membrane determines the addition or removal of membranes at the cell surface, thus preserving cell integrity.

Auxin-binding Pocket of ABP1 is Crucial for Its Gain-of-function Cellular and Developmental Roles

Journal of Experimental Botany. Aug, 2015  |  Pubmed ID: 25922490

The plant hormone auxin is a key regulator of plant growth and development. Auxin levels are sensed and interpreted by distinct receptor systems that activate a broad range of cellular responses. The Auxin-Binding Protein1 (ABP1) that has been identified based on its ability to bind auxin with high affinity is a prime candidate for the extracellular receptor responsible for mediating a range of auxin effects, in particular, the fast non-transcriptional ones. Contradictory genetic studies suggested prominent or no importance of ABP1 in many developmental processes. However, how crucial the role of auxin binding to ABP1 is for its functions has not been addressed. Here, we show that the auxin-binding pocket of ABP1 is essential for its gain-of-function cellular and developmental roles. In total, 16 different abp1 mutants were prepared that possessed substitutions in the metal core or in the hydrophobic amino acids of the auxin-binding pocket as well as neutral mutations. Their analysis revealed that an intact auxin-binding pocket is a prerequisite for ABP1 to activate downstream components of the ABP1 signalling pathway, such as Rho of Plants (ROPs) and to mediate the clathrin association with membranes for endocytosis regulation. In planta analyses demonstrated the importance of the auxin binding pocket for all known ABP1-mediated postembryonic developmental processes, including morphology of leaf epidermal cells, root growth and root meristem activity, and vascular tissue differentiation. Taken together, these findings suggest that auxin binding to ABP1 is central to its function, supporting the role of ABP1 as auxin receptor.

The Arabidopsis Thaliana Elongator Complex Subunit 2 Epigenetically Affects Root Development

Journal of Experimental Botany. Aug, 2015  |  Pubmed ID: 25998905

The elongator complex subunit 2 (ELP2) protein, one subunit of an evolutionarily conserved histone acetyltransferase complex, has been shown to participate in leaf patterning, plant immune and abiotic stress responses in Arabidopsis thaliana. Here, its role in root development was explored. Compared to the wild type, the elp2 mutant exhibited an accelerated differentiation of its root stem cells and cell division was more active in its quiescent centre (QC). The key transcription factors responsible for maintaining root stem cell and QC identity, such as AP2 transcription factors PLT1 (PLETHORA1) and PLT2 (PLETHORA2), GRAS transcription factors such as SCR (SCARECROW) and SHR (SHORT ROOT) and WUSCHEL-RELATED HOMEOBOX5 transcription factor WOX5, were all strongly down-regulated in the mutant. On the other hand, expression of the G2/M transition activator CYCB1 was substantially induced in elp2. The auxin efflux transporters PIN1 and PIN2 showed decreased protein levels and PIN1 also displayed mild polarity alterations in elp2, which resulted in a reduced auxin content in the root tip. Either the acetylation or methylation level of each of these genes differed between the mutant and the wild type, suggesting that the ELP2 regulation of root development involves the epigenetic modification of a range of transcription factors and other developmental regulators.

Plasma Membrane-bound AGC3 Kinases Phosphorylate PIN Auxin Carriers at TPRXS(N/S) Motifs to Direct Apical PIN Recycling

Development (Cambridge, England). Jul, 2015  |  Pubmed ID: 26130759

Cytokinin Response Factors Regulate PIN-FORMED Auxin Transporters

Nature Communications. 2015  |  Pubmed ID: 26541513

Auxin and cytokinin are key endogenous regulators of plant development. Although cytokinin-mediated modulation of auxin distribution is a developmentally crucial hormonal interaction, its molecular basis is largely unknown. Here we show a direct regulatory link between cytokinin signalling and the auxin transport machinery uncovering a mechanistic framework for cytokinin-auxin cross-talk. We show that the CYTOKININ RESPONSE FACTORS (CRFs), transcription factors downstream of cytokinin perception, transcriptionally control genes encoding PIN-FORMED (PIN) auxin transporters at a specific PIN CYTOKININ RESPONSE ELEMENT (PCRE) domain. Removal of this cis-regulatory element effectively uncouples PIN transcription from the CRF-mediated cytokinin regulation and attenuates plant cytokinin sensitivity. We propose that CRFs represent a missing cross-talk component that fine-tunes auxin transport capacity downstream of cytokinin signalling to control plant development.

A Coherent Transcriptional Feed-forward Motif Model for Mediating Auxin-sensitive PIN3 Expression During Lateral Root Development

Nature Communications. 2015  |  Pubmed ID: 26578065

Multiple plant developmental processes, such as lateral root development, depend on auxin distribution patterns that are in part generated by the PIN-formed family of auxin-efflux transporters. Here we propose that AUXIN RESPONSE FACTOR7 (ARF7) and the ARF7-regulated FOUR LIPS/MYB124 (FLP) transcription factors jointly form a coherent feed-forward motif that mediates the auxin-responsive PIN3 transcription in planta to steer the early steps of lateral root formation. This regulatory mechanism might endow the PIN3 circuitry with a temporal 'memory' of auxin stimuli, potentially maintaining and enhancing the robustness of the auxin flux directionality during lateral root development. The cooperative action between canonical auxin signalling and other transcription factors might constitute a general mechanism by which transcriptional auxin-sensitivity can be regulated at a tissue-specific level.

Transcriptional Regulation of PIN Genes by FOUR LIPS and MYB88 During Arabidopsis Root Gravitropism

Nature Communications. 2015  |  Pubmed ID: 26578169

PIN proteins are auxin export carriers that direct intercellular auxin flow and in turn regulate many aspects of plant growth and development including responses to environmental changes. The Arabidopsis R2R3-MYB transcription factor FOUR LIPS (FLP) and its paralogue MYB88 regulate terminal divisions during stomatal development, as well as female reproductive development and stress responses. Here we show that FLP and MYB88 act redundantly but differentially in regulating the transcription of PIN3 and PIN7 in gravity-sensing cells of primary and lateral roots. On the one hand, FLP is involved in responses to gravity stimulation in primary roots, whereas on the other, FLP and MYB88 function complementarily in establishing the gravitropic set-point angles of lateral roots. Our results support a model in which FLP and MYB88 expression specifically determines the temporal-spatial patterns of PIN3 and PIN7 transcription that are closely associated with their preferential functions during root responses to gravity.

Embryo-lethal Phenotypes in Early Abp1 Mutants Are Due to Disruption of the Neighboring BSM Gene

F1000Research. 2015  |  Pubmed ID: 26629335

The Auxin Binding Protein1 (ABP1) has been identified based on its ability to bind auxin with high affinity and studied for a long time as a prime candidate for the extracellular auxin receptor responsible for mediating in particular the fast non-transcriptional auxin responses. However, the contradiction between the embryo-lethal phenotypes of the originally described Arabidopsis T-DNA insertional knock-out alleles ( abp1-1 and abp1-1s) and the wild type-like phenotypes of other recently described loss-of-function alleles ( abp1-c1 and abp1-TD1) questions the biological importance of ABP1 and relevance of the previous genetic studies. Here we show that there is no hidden copy of the ABP1 gene in the Arabidopsis genome but the embryo-lethal phenotypes of abp1-1 and abp1-1s alleles are very similar to the knock-out phenotypes of the neighboring gene, BELAYA SMERT ( BSM). Furthermore, the allelic complementation test between bsm and abp1 alleles shows that the embryo-lethality in the abp1-1 and abp1-1s alleles is caused by the off-target disruption of the BSM locus by the T-DNA insertions. This clarifies the controversy of different phenotypes among published abp1 knock-out alleles and asks for reflections on the developmental role of ABP1.

V-ATPase Activity in the TGN/EE is Required for Exocytosis and Recycling in Arabidopsis

Nature Plants. Jul, 2015  |  Pubmed ID: 27250258

In plants, vacuolar H(+)-ATPase (V-ATPase) activity acidifies both the trans-Golgi network/early endosome (TGN/EE) and the vacuole. This dual V-ATPase function has impeded our understanding of how the pH homeostasis within the plant TGN/EE controls exo- and endocytosis. Here, we show that the weak V-ATPase mutant deetiolated3 (det3) displayed a pH increase in the TGN/EE, but not in the vacuole, strongly impairing secretion and recycling of the brassinosteroid receptor and the cellulose synthase complexes to the plasma membrane, in contrast to mutants lacking tonoplast-localized V-ATPase activity only. The brassinosteroid insensitivity and the cellulose deficiency defects in det3 were tightly correlated with reduced Golgi and TGN/EE motility. Thus, our results provide strong evidence that acidification of the TGN/EE, but not of the vacuole, is indispensable for functional secretion and recycling in plants.

Targeted Cell Elimination Reveals an Auxin-guided Biphasic Mode of Lateral Root Initiation

Genes & Development. Feb, 2016  |  Pubmed ID: 26883363

To sustain a lifelong ability to initiate organs, plants retain pools of undifferentiated cells with a preserved proliferation capacity. The root pericycle represents a unique tissue with conditional meristematic activity, and its tight control determines initiation of lateral organs. Here we show that the meristematic activity of the pericycle is constrained by the interaction with the adjacent endodermis. Release of these restraints by elimination of endodermal cells by single-cell ablation triggers the pericycle to re-enter the cell cycle. We found that endodermis removal substitutes for the phytohormone auxin-dependent initiation of the pericycle meristematic activity. However, auxin is indispensable to steer the cell division plane orientation of new organ-defining divisions. We propose a dual, spatiotemporally distinct role for auxin during lateral root initiation. In the endodermis, auxin releases constraints arising from cell-to-cell interactions that compromise the pericycle meristematic activity, whereas, in the pericycle, auxin defines the orientation of the cell division plane to initiate lateral roots.

ROTUNDA3 Function in Plant Development by Phosphatase 2A-mediated Regulation of Auxin Transporter Recycling

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. Mar, 2016  |  Pubmed ID: 26888284

The shaping of organs in plants depends on the intercellular flow of the phytohormone auxin, of which the directional signaling is determined by the polar subcellular localization of PIN-FORMED (PIN) auxin transport proteins. Phosphorylation dynamics of PIN proteins are affected by the protein phosphatase 2A (PP2A) and the PINOID kinase, which act antagonistically to mediate their apical-basal polar delivery. Here, we identified the ROTUNDA3 (RON3) protein as a regulator of the PP2A phosphatase activity in Arabidopsis thaliana. The RON3 gene was map-based cloned starting from the ron3-1 leaf mutant and found to be a unique, plant-specific gene coding for a protein with high and dispersed proline content. The ron3-1 and ron3-2 mutant phenotypes [i.e., reduced apical dominance, primary root length, lateral root emergence, and growth; increased ectopic stages II, IV, and V lateral root primordia; decreased auxin maxima in indole-3-acetic acid (IAA)-treated root apical meristems; hypergravitropic root growth and response; increased IAA levels in shoot apices; and reduced auxin accumulation in root meristems] support a role for RON3 in auxin biology. The affinity-purified PP2A complex with RON3 as bait suggested that RON3 might act in PIN transporter trafficking. Indeed, pharmacological interference with vesicle trafficking processes revealed that single ron3-2 and double ron3-2 rcn1 mutants have altered PIN polarity and endocytosis in specific cells. Our data indicate that RON3 contributes to auxin-mediated development by playing a role in PIN recycling and polarity establishment through regulation of the PP2A complex activity.

Strong Morphological Defects in Conditional Arabidopsis Abp1 Knock-down Mutants Generated in Absence of Functional ABP1 Protein

F1000Research. 2016  |  Pubmed ID: 26925228

The Auxin Binding Protein 1 (ABP1) is one of the most studied proteins in plants. Since decades ago, it has been the prime receptor candidate for the plant hormone auxin with a plethora of described functions in auxin signaling and development. The developmental importance of ABP1 has recently been questioned by identification of Arabidopsis thaliana abp1 knock-out alleles that show no obvious phenotypes under normal growth conditions. In this study, we examined the contradiction between the normal growth and development of the abp1 knock-outs and the strong morphological defects observed in three different ethanol-inducible abp1 knock-down mutants ( abp1-AS, SS12K, SS12S). By analyzing segregating populations of abp1 knock-out vs. abp1 knock-down crosses we show that the strong morphological defects that were believed to be the result of conditional down-regulation of ABP1 can be reproduced also in the absence of the functional ABP1 protein. This data suggests that the phenotypes in  abp1 knock-down lines are due to the off-target effects and asks for further reflections on the biological function of ABP1 or alternative explanations for the missing phenotypic defects in the abp1 loss-of-function alleles.

Environmental and Endogenous Control of Cortical Microtubule Orientation

Trends in Cell Biology. Jun, 2016  |  Pubmed ID: 26951762

Plant growth requires a tight coordination of cell shape and anisotropic expansion. Owing to their immobility, plant cells determine body architecture through the orientation of cell division and cell expansion. Microtubule cytoskeleton represents a versatile cellular structure essential for coordinating flexible cell morphogenesis. Previous studies have identified a large number of microtubule-associated regulators that control microtubule dynamics; however, the mechanisms by which microtubule reorientation responds to exogenous and environmental stimuli are largely unknown. In this review, we describe the molecular details of microtubule dynamics that are required for cortical microtubule array pattern formation, and recapitulate current knowledge on the mechanisms by which various environmental and endogenous stimuli control cortical microtubule reorientation.

TWISTED DWARF1 Mediates the Action of Auxin Transport Inhibitors on Actin Cytoskeleton Dynamics

The Plant Cell. Apr, 2016  |  Pubmed ID: 27053424

Plant growth and architecture is regulated by the polar distribution of the hormone auxin. Polarity and flexibility of this process is provided by constant cycling of auxin transporter vesicles along actin filaments, coordinated by a positive auxin-actin feedback loop. Both polar auxin transport and vesicle cycling are inhibited by synthetic auxin transport inhibitors, such as 1-N-naphthylphthalamic acid (NPA), counteracting the effect of auxin; however, underlying targets and mechanisms are unclear. Using NMR, we map the NPA binding surface on the Arabidopsis thaliana ABCB chaperone TWISTED DWARF1 (TWD1). We identify ACTIN7 as a relevant, although likely indirect, TWD1 interactor, and show TWD1-dependent regulation of actin filament organization and dynamics and that TWD1 is required for NPA-mediated actin cytoskeleton remodeling. The TWD1-ACTIN7 axis controls plasma membrane presence of efflux transporters, and as a consequence act7 and twd1 share developmental and physiological phenotypes indicative of defects in auxin transport. These can be phenocopied by NPA treatment or by chemical actin (de)stabilization. We provide evidence that TWD1 determines downstream locations of auxin efflux transporters by adjusting actin filament debundling and dynamizing processes and mediating NPA action on the latter. This function appears to be evolutionary conserved since TWD1 expression in budding yeast alters actin polarization and cell polarity and provides NPA sensitivity.

Sorting Motifs Involved in the Trafficking and Localization of the PIN1 Auxin Efflux Carrier

Plant Physiology. Jul, 2016  |  Pubmed ID: 27208248

In contrast with the wealth of recent reports about the function of μ-adaptins and clathrin adaptor protein (AP) complexes, there is very little information about the motifs that determine the sorting of membrane proteins within clathrin-coated vesicles in plants. Here, we investigated putative sorting signals in the large cytosolic loop of the Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana) PIN-FORMED1 (PIN1) auxin transporter, which are involved in binding μ-adaptins and thus in PIN1 trafficking and localization. We found that Phe-165 and Tyr-280, Tyr-328, and Tyr-394 are involved in the binding of different μ-adaptins in vitro. However, only Phe-165, which binds μA(μ2)- and μD(μ3)-adaptin, was found to be essential for PIN1 trafficking and localization in vivo. The PIN1:GFP-F165A mutant showed reduced endocytosis but also localized to intracellular structures containing several layers of membranes and endoplasmic reticulum (ER) markers, suggesting that they correspond to ER or ER-derived membranes. While PIN1:GFP localized normally in a μA (μ2)-adaptin mutant, it accumulated in big intracellular structures containing LysoTracker in a μD (μ3)-adaptin mutant, consistent with previous results obtained with mutants of other subunits of the AP-3 complex. Our data suggest that Phe-165, through the binding of μA (μ2)- and μD (μ3)-adaptin, is important for PIN1 endocytosis and for PIN1 trafficking along the secretory pathway, respectively.

PIN6 Auxin Transporter at Endoplasmic Reticulum and Plasma Membrane Mediates Auxin Homeostasis and Organogenesis in Arabidopsis

The New Phytologist. Jul, 2016  |  Pubmed ID: 27240710

Plant development mediated by the phytohormone auxin depends on tightly controlled cellular auxin levels at its target tissue that are largely established by intercellular and intracellular auxin transport mediated by PIN auxin transporters. Among the eight members of the Arabidopsis PIN family, PIN6 is the least characterized candidate. In this study we generated functional, fluorescent protein-tagged PIN6 proteins and performed comprehensive analysis of their subcellular localization and also performed a detailed functional characterization of PIN6 and its developmental roles. The localization study of PIN6 revealed a dual localization at the plasma membrane (PM) and endoplasmic reticulum (ER). Transport and metabolic profiling assays in cultured cells and Arabidopsis strongly suggest that PIN6 mediates both auxin transport across the PM and intracellular auxin homeostasis, including the regulation of free auxin and auxin conjugates levels. As evidenced by the loss- and gain-of-function analysis, the complex function of PIN6 in auxin transport and homeostasis is required for auxin distribution during lateral and adventitious root organogenesis and for progression of these developmental processes. These results illustrate a unique position of PIN6 within the family of PIN auxin transporters and further add complexity to the developmentally crucial process of auxin transport.

Mitochondrial Uncouplers Inhibit Clathrin-mediated Endocytosis Largely Through Cytoplasmic Acidification

Nature Communications. Jun, 2016  |  Pubmed ID: 27271794

ATP production requires the establishment of an electrochemical proton gradient across the inner mitochondrial membrane. Mitochondrial uncouplers dissipate this proton gradient and disrupt numerous cellular processes, including vesicular trafficking, mainly through energy depletion. Here we show that Endosidin9 (ES9), a novel mitochondrial uncoupler, is a potent inhibitor of clathrin-mediated endocytosis (CME) in different systems and that ES9 induces inhibition of CME not because of its effect on cellular ATP, but rather due to its protonophore activity that leads to cytoplasm acidification. We show that the known tyrosine kinase inhibitor tyrphostinA23, which is routinely used to block CME, displays similar properties, thus questioning its use as a specific inhibitor of cargo recognition by the AP-2 adaptor complex via tyrosine motif-based endocytosis signals. Furthermore, we show that cytoplasm acidification dramatically affects the dynamics and recruitment of clathrin and associated adaptors, and leads to reduction of phosphatidylinositol 4,5-biphosphate from the plasma membrane.

Cytokinins Influence Root Gravitropism Via Differential Regulation of Auxin Transporter Expression and Localization in Arabidopsis

The New Phytologist. Oct, 2016  |  Pubmed ID: 27322763

Redirection of intercellular auxin fluxes via relocalization of the PIN-FORMED 3 (PIN3) and PIN7 auxin efflux carriers has been suggested to be necessary for the root gravitropic response. Cytokinins have also been proposed to play a role in controlling root gravitropism, but conclusive evidence is lacking. We present a detailed study of the dynamics of root bending early after gravistimulation, which revealed a delayed gravitropic response in transgenic lines with depleted endogenous cytokinins (Pro35S:AtCKX) and cytokinin signaling mutants. Pro35S:AtCKX lines, as well as a cytokinin receptor mutant ahk3, showed aberrations in the auxin response distribution in columella cells consistent with defects in the auxin transport machinery. Using in vivo real-time imaging of PIN3-GFP and PIN7-GFP in AtCKX3 overexpression and ahk3 backgrounds, we observed wild-type-like relocalization of PIN proteins in the columella early after gravistimulation, with gravity-induced relocalization of PIN7 faster than that of PIN3. Nonetheless, the cellular distribution of PIN3 and PIN7 and expression of PIN7 and the auxin influx carrier AUX1 was affected in AtCKX overexpression lines. Based on the retained cytokinin sensitivity in pin3 pin4 pin7 mutant, we propose the AUX1-mediated auxin transport rather than columella-located PIN proteins as a target of endogenous cytokinins in the control of root gravitropism.

Plasma Membrane: Negative Attraction

Nature Plants. Jul, 2016  |  Pubmed ID: 27364133

Phosphatidylinositol 4-phosphate 5-kinases 1 and 2 Are Involved in the Regulation of Vacuole Morphology During Arabidopsis Thaliana Pollen Development

Plant Science : an International Journal of Experimental Plant Biology. Sep, 2016  |  Pubmed ID: 27457979

The pollen grains arise after meiosis of pollen mother cells within the anthers. A series of complex structural changes follows, generating mature pollen grains capable of performing the double fertilization of the female megasporophyte. Several signaling molecules, including hormones and lipids, have been involved in the regulation and appropriate control of pollen development. Phosphatidylinositol 4-phophate 5-kinases (PIP5K), which catalyze the biosynthesis of the phosphoinositide PtdIns(4,5)P2, are important for tip polar growth of root hairs and pollen tubes, embryo development, vegetative plant growth, and responses to the environment. Here, we report a role of PIP5Ks during microgametogenesis. PIP5K1 and PIP5K2 are expressed during early stages of pollen development and their transcriptional activity respond to auxin in pollen grains. Early male gametophytic lethality to certain grade was observed in both pip5k1(-/-) and pip5k2(-/-) single mutants. The number of pip5k mutant alleles is directly related to the frequency of aborted pollen grains suggesting the two genes are involved in the same function. Indeed PIP5K1 and PIP5K2 are functionally redundant since homozygous double mutants did not render viable pollen grains. The loss of function of PIP5K1 and PIP5K2results in defects in vacuole morphology in pollen at the later stages and epidermal root cells. Our results show that PIP5K1, PIP5K2 and phosphoinositide signaling are important cues for early developmental stages and vacuole formation during microgametogenesis.

Cellular Mechanisms for Cargo Delivery and Polarity Maintenance at Different Polar Domains in Plant Cells

Cell Discovery. 2016  |  Pubmed ID: 27462465

The asymmetric localization of proteins in the plasma membrane domains of eukaryotic cells is a fundamental manifestation of cell polarity that is central to multicellular organization and developmental patterning. In plants, the mechanisms underlying the polar localization of cargo proteins are still largely unknown and appear to be fundamentally distinct from those operating in mammals. Here, we present a systematic, quantitative comparative analysis of the polar delivery and subcellular localization of proteins that characterize distinct polar plasma membrane domains in plant cells. The combination of microscopic analyses and computational modeling revealed a mechanistic framework common to diverse polar cargos and underlying the establishment and maintenance of apical, basal, and lateral polar domains in plant cells. This mechanism depends on the polar secretion, constitutive endocytic recycling, and restricted lateral diffusion of cargos within the plasma membrane. Moreover, our observations suggest that polar cargo distribution involves the individual protein potential to form clusters within the plasma membrane and interact with the extracellular matrix. Our observations provide insights into the shared cellular mechanisms of polar cargo delivery and polarity maintenance in plant cells.

Enquiry into the Topology of Plasma Membrane-Localized PIN Auxin Transport Components

Molecular Plant. Nov, 2016  |  Pubmed ID: 27622590

Auxin directs plant ontogenesis via differential accumulation within tissues depending largely on the activity of PIN proteins that mediate auxin efflux from cells and its directional cell-to-cell transport. Regardless of the developmental importance of PINs, the structure of these transporters is poorly characterized. Here, we present experimental data concerning protein topology of plasma membrane-localized PINs. Utilizing approaches based on pH-dependent quenching of fluorescent reporters combined with immunolocalization techniques, we mapped the membrane topology of PINs and further cross-validated our results using available topology modeling software. We delineated the topology of PIN1 with two transmembrane (TM) bundles of five α-helices linked by a large intracellular loop and a C-terminus positioned outside the cytoplasm. Using constraints derived from our experimental data, we also provide an updated position of helical regions generating a verisimilitude model of PIN1. Since the canonical long PINs show a high degree of conservation in TM domains and auxin transport capacity has been demonstrated for Arabidopsis representatives of this group, this empirically enhanced topological model of PIN1 will be an important starting point for further studies on PIN structure-function relationships. In addition, we have established protocols that can be used to probe the topology of other plasma membrane proteins in plants.

TIR1/AFB-Aux/IAA Auxin Perception Mediates Rapid Cell Wall Acidification and Growth of Arabidopsis Hypocotyls

ELife. Sep, 2016  |  Pubmed ID: 27627746

Despite being composed of immobile cells, plants reorient along directional stimuli. The hormone auxin is redistributed in stimulated organs leading to differential growth and bending. Auxin application triggers rapid cell wall acidification and elongation of aerial organs of plants, but the molecular players mediating these effects are still controversial. Here we use genetically-encoded pH and auxin signaling sensors, pharmacological and genetic manipulations available for Arabidopsis etiolated hypocotyls to clarify how auxin is perceived and the downstream growth executed. We show that auxin-induced acidification occurs by local activation of H(+)-ATPases, which in the context of gravity response is restricted to the lower organ side. This auxin-stimulated acidification and growth require TIR1/AFB-Aux/IAA nuclear auxin perception. In addition, auxin-induced gene transcription and specifically SAUR proteins are crucial downstream mediators of this growth. Our study provides strong experimental support for the acid growth theory and clarified the contribution of the upstream auxin perception mechanisms.

Vascular Cambium Regeneration and Vessel Formation in Wounded Inflorescence Stems of Arabidopsis

Scientific Reports. Sep, 2016  |  Pubmed ID: 27649687

Synchronized tissue polarization during regeneration or de novo vascular tissue formation is a plant-specific example of intercellular communication and coordinated development. According to the canalization hypothesis, the plant hormone auxin serves as polarizing signal that mediates directional channel formation underlying the spatio-temporal vasculature patterning. A necessary part of canalization is a positive feedback between auxin signaling and polarity of the intercellular auxin flow. The cellular and molecular mechanisms of this process are still poorly understood, not the least, because of a lack of a suitable model system. We show that the main genetic model plant, Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana) can be used to study the canalization during vascular cambium regeneration and new vasculature formation. We monitored localized auxin responses, directional auxin-transport channels formation, and establishment of new vascular cambium polarity during regenerative processes after stem wounding. The increased auxin response above and around the wound preceded the formation of PIN1 auxin transporter-marked channels from the primarily homogenous tissue and the transient, gradual changes in PIN1 localization preceded the polarity of newly formed vascular tissue. Thus, Arabidopsis is a useful model for studies of coordinated tissue polarization and vasculature formation after wounding allowing for genetic and mechanistic dissection of the canalization hypothesis.

Danger-associated Peptide Signaling in Arabidopsis Requires Clathrin

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. Sep, 2016  |  Pubmed ID: 27651494

The Arabidopsis thaliana endogenous elicitor peptides (AtPeps) are released into the apoplast after cellular damage caused by pathogens or wounding to induce innate immunity by direct binding to the membrane-localized leucine-rich repeat receptor kinases, PEP RECEPTOR1 (PEPR1) and PEPR2. Although the PEPR-mediated signaling components and responses have been studied extensively, the contributions of the subcellular localization and dynamics of the active PEPRs remain largely unknown. We used live-cell imaging of the fluorescently labeled and bioactive pep1 to visualize the intracellular behavior of the PEPRs in the Arabidopsis root meristem. We found that AtPep1 decorated the plasma membrane (PM) in a receptor-dependent manner and cointernalized with PEPRs. Trafficking of the AtPep1-PEPR1 complexes to the vacuole required neither the trans-Golgi network/early endosome (TGN/EE)-localized vacuolar H(+)-ATPase activity nor the function of the brefeldin A-sensitive ADP-ribosylation factor-guanine exchange factors (ARF-GEFs). In addition, AtPep1 and different TGN/EE markers colocalized only rarely, implying that the intracellular route of this receptor-ligand pair is largely independent of the TGN/EE. Inducible overexpression of the Arabidopsis clathrin coat disassembly factor, Auxilin2, which inhibits clathrin-mediated endocytosis (CME), impaired the AtPep1-PEPR1 internalization and compromised AtPep1-mediated responses. Our results show that clathrin function at the PM is required to induce plant defense responses, likely through CME of cell surface-located signaling components.

A Model of Differential Growth-Guided Apical Hook Formation in Plants

The Plant Cell. Oct, 2016  |  Pubmed ID: 27754878

Differential cell growth enables flexible organ bending in the presence of environmental signals such as light or gravity. A prominent example of the developmental processes based on differential cell growth is the formation of the apical hook that protects the fragile shoot apical meristem when it breaks through the soil during germination. Here, we combined in silico and in vivo approaches to identify a minimal mechanism producing auxin gradient-guided differential growth during the establishment of the apical hook in the model plant Arabidopsis thaliana Computer simulation models based on experimental data demonstrate that asymmetric expression of the PIN-FORMED auxin efflux carrier at the concave (inner) versus convex (outer) side of the hook suffices to establish an auxin maximum in the epidermis at the concave side of the apical hook. Furthermore, we propose a mechanism that translates this maximum into differential growth, and thus curvature, of the apical hook. Through a combination of experimental and in silico computational approaches, we have identified the individual contributions of differential cell elongation and proliferation to defining the apical hook and reveal the role of auxin-ethylene crosstalk in balancing these two processes.

Termination of Shoot Gravitropic Responses by Auxin Feedback on PIN3 Polarity

Current Biology : CB. Nov, 2016  |  Pubmed ID: 27773568

Plants adjust their growth according to gravity. Gravitropism involves gravity perception, signal transduction, and asymmetric growth response, with organ bending as a consequence [1]. Asymmetric growth results from the asymmetric distribution of the plant-specific signaling molecule auxin [2] that is generated by lateral transport, mediated in the hypocotyl predominantly by the auxin transporter PIN-FORMED3 (PIN3) [3-5]. Gravity stimulation polarizes PIN3 to the bottom sides of endodermal cells, correlating with increased auxin accumulation in adjacent tissues at the lower side of the stimulated organ, where auxin induces cell elongation and, hence, organ bending. A curvature response allows the hypocotyl to resume straight growth at a defined angle [6], implying that at some point auxin symmetry is restored to prevent overbending. Here, we present initial insights into cellular and molecular mechanisms that lead to the termination of the tropic response. We identified an auxin feedback on PIN3 polarization as underlying mechanism that restores symmetry of the PIN3-dependent auxin flow. Thus, two mechanistically distinct PIN3 polarization events redirect auxin fluxes at different time points of the gravity response: first, gravity-mediated redirection of PIN3-mediated auxin flow toward the lower hypocotyl side, where auxin gradually accumulates and promotes growth, and later PIN3 polarization to the opposite cell side, depleting this auxin maximum to end the bending. Accordingly, genetic or pharmacological interference with the late PIN3 polarization prevents termination of the response and leads to hypocotyl overbending. This observation reveals a role of auxin feedback on PIN polarity in the termination of the tropic response.

Auxin Flow-mediated Competition Between Axillary Buds to Restore Apical Dominance

Scientific Reports. Nov, 2016  |  Pubmed ID: 27824063

Apical dominance is one of the fundamental developmental phenomena in plant biology, which determines the overall architecture of aerial plant parts. Here we show apex decapitation activated competition for dominance in adjacent upper and lower axillary buds. A two-nodal-bud pea (Pisum sativum L.) was used as a model system to monitor and assess auxin flow, auxin transport channels, and dormancy and initiation status of axillary buds. Auxin flow was manipulated by lateral stem wounds or chemically by auxin efflux inhibitors 2,3,5-triiodobenzoic acid (TIBA), 1-N-naphtylphtalamic acid (NPA), or protein synthesis inhibitor cycloheximide (CHX) treatments, which served to interfere with axillary bud competition. Redirecting auxin flow to different points influenced which bud formed the outgrowing and dominant shoot. The obtained results proved that competition between upper and lower axillary buds as secondary auxin sources is based on the same auxin canalization principle that operates between the shoot apex and axillary bud.

A Noncanonical Auxin-sensing Mechanism is Required for Organ Morphogenesis in Arabidopsis

Genes & Development. Oct, 2016  |  Pubmed ID: 27898393

Tissue patterning in multicellular organisms is the output of precise spatio-temporal regulation of gene expression coupled with changes in hormone dynamics. In plants, the hormone auxin regulates growth and development at every stage of a plant's life cycle. Auxin signaling occurs through binding of the auxin molecule to a TIR1/AFB F-box ubiquitin ligase, allowing interaction with Aux/IAA transcriptional repressor proteins. These are subsequently ubiquitinated and degraded via the 26S proteasome, leading to derepression of auxin response factors (ARFs). How auxin is able to elicit such a diverse range of developmental responses through a single signaling module has not yet been resolved. Here we present an alternative auxin-sensing mechanism in which the ARF ARF3/ETTIN controls gene expression through interactions with process-specific transcription factors. This noncanonical hormone-sensing mechanism exhibits strong preference for the naturally occurring auxin indole 3-acetic acid (IAA) and is important for coordinating growth and patterning in diverse developmental contexts such as gynoecium morphogenesis, lateral root emergence, ovule development, and primary branch formation. Disrupting this IAA-sensing ability induces morphological aberrations with consequences for plant fitness. Therefore, our findings introduce a novel transcription factor-based mechanism of hormone perception in plants.

Cis-Cinnamic Acid Is a Novel, Natural Auxin Efflux Inhibitor That Promotes Lateral Root Formation

Plant Physiology. Jan, 2017  |  Pubmed ID: 27837086

Auxin steers numerous physiological processes in plants, making the tight control of its endogenous levels and spatiotemporal distribution a necessity. This regulation is achieved by different mechanisms, including auxin biosynthesis, metabolic conversions, degradation, and transport. Here, we introduce cis-cinnamic acid (c-CA) as a novel and unique addition to a small group of endogenous molecules affecting in planta auxin concentrations. c-CA is the photo-isomerization product of the phenylpropanoid pathway intermediate trans-CA (t-CA). When grown on c-CA-containing medium, an evolutionary diverse set of plant species were shown to exhibit phenotypes characteristic for high auxin levels, including inhibition of primary root growth, induction of root hairs, and promotion of adventitious and lateral rooting. By molecular docking and receptor binding assays, we showed that c-CA itself is neither an auxin nor an anti-auxin, and auxin profiling data revealed that c-CA does not significantly interfere with auxin biosynthesis. Single cell-based auxin accumulation assays showed that c-CA, and not t-CA, is a potent inhibitor of auxin efflux. Auxin signaling reporters detected changes in spatiotemporal distribution of the auxin response along the root of c-CA-treated plants, and long-distance auxin transport assays showed no inhibition of rootward auxin transport. Overall, these results suggest that the phenotypes of c-CA-treated plants are the consequence of a local change in auxin accumulation, induced by the inhibition of auxin efflux. This work reveals a novel mechanism how plants may regulate auxin levels and adds a novel, naturally occurring molecule to the chemical toolbox for the studies of auxin homeostasis.

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