A Functional Unfolded Protein Response Is Required for Normal Vegetative Development

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Bao, Yan
Bassham, Diane
Howell, Stephen
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The unfolded protein response (UPR) is activated in plants in response to endoplasmic reticulum stress and plays an important role in mitigating stress damage. Multiple factors act in the UPR, including the membrane-associated transcription factor, BASIC LEUCINE ZIPPER 17 (bZIP17), and the membrane-associated RNA splicing factor, INOSITOL REQUIRING ENZYME1 (IRE1). We have analyzed an Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana) ire1a ire1b bzip17 triple mutant, with defects in stress signaling, and found that the mutant is also impaired in vegetative plant growth under conditions without externally applied stress. This raised the possibility that the UPR functions in plant development in the same manner as it does in responding to stress. bZIP17 is mobilized to the nucleus in response to stress, and through the analysis of a mobilization-defective bZIP17 mutant, we found that to support normal plant development bZIP17 must be capable of mobilization. Likewise, through the analysis of ire1 mutants defective in either protein kinase or RNase activities, we found that both must be operative to promote normal development. These findings demonstrate that the UPR, which is associated with stress responses in plants, also functions under unstressed conditions to support normal development.


This article is published as Bao, Yan, Diane C. Bassham, and Stephen H. Howell. "A functional unfolded protein response is required for normal vegetative development." Plant physiology 179 (2019): 1834-1843. doi: 10.1104/pp.18.01261. Copyright American Society of Plant Biologists. Posted with permission.