ROTUNDA3 function in plant development by phosphatase 2A-mediated regulation of auxin transporter recycling.

Abstract

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.

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