Four Closely-related RING-type E3 Ligases, APD1–4, are Involved in Pollen Mitosis II Regulation in Arabidopsis

Authors

  • Guo Luo,

    1. State Key Laboratory for Protein and Plant Gene Research, College of Life Sciences, Peking-Tsinghua Center of Life Sciences, Peking University, Beijing 100871, China
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  • Hongya Gu,

    1. State Key Laboratory for Protein and Plant Gene Research, College of Life Sciences, Peking-Tsinghua Center of Life Sciences, Peking University, Beijing 100871, China
    2. The National Plant Gene Research Center, Beijing 100101, China
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  • Jingjing Liu,

    Corresponding author
    1. State Key Laboratory for Protein and Plant Gene Research, College of Life Sciences, Peking-Tsinghua Center of Life Sciences, Peking University, Beijing 100871, China
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  • Li-Jia Qu

    Corresponding author
    1. State Key Laboratory for Protein and Plant Gene Research, College of Life Sciences, Peking-Tsinghua Center of Life Sciences, Peking University, Beijing 100871, China
    2. The National Plant Gene Research Center, Beijing 100101, China
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Tel: +86 10 6275 3018; Fax: +86 10 6275 3339; E-mail: liujingjing@pku.edu.cn; qulj@pku.edu.cn

Abstract

Ubiquitination of proteins is one of the critical regulatory mechanisms in eukaryotes. In higher plants, protein ubiquitination plays an essential role in many biological processes, including hormone signaling, photomorphogenesis, and pathogen defense. However, the roles of protein ubiquitination in the reproductive process are not clear. In this study, we identified four plant-specific RING-finger genes designated Aberrant Pollen Development 1 (APD1) to APD4, as regulators of pollen mitosis II (PMII) in Arabidopsis thaliana (L.). The apd1 apd2 double mutant showed a significantly increased percentage of bicellular-like pollen at the mature pollen stage. Further downregulation of the APD3 and APD4 transcripts in apd1 apd2 by RNA interference (RNAi) resulted in more severe abnormal bicellular-like pollen phenotypes than in apd1 apd2, suggesting that cell division was defective in male gametogenesis. All of the four genes were expressed in multiple stages at different levels during male gametophyte development. Confocal analysis using green florescence fusion proteins (GFP) GFP-APD1 and GFP-APD2 showed that APDs are associated with intracellular membranes. Furthermore, APD2 had E2-dependent E3 ligase activity in vitro, and five APD2-interacting proteins were identified. Our results suggest that these four genes may be involved, redundantly, in regulating the PMII process during male gametogenesis.

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