Emerging Role of the Ubiquitin Proteasome System in the Control of Shoot Apical Meristem Function

Authors

  • Elisabetta Di Giacomo,

    1. Istituto di Biologia e Biotecnologia Agraria, UOS Roma, Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche, Monterotondo Scalo, Roma 00015, Italy
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  • Giovanna Serino,

    1. Dipartimento di Biologia e Biotecnologie Charles Darwin, Sapienza Università, Roma 00185, Italy
    2. The New York Botanical Garden, Genomics Program NYBG, Bronx, New York 10458-5126, USA
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  • Giovanna Frugis

    Corresponding author
    1. Istituto di Biologia e Biotecnologia Agraria, UOS Roma, Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche, Monterotondo Scalo, Roma 00015, Italy
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Tel: +39 06 9067 2857; Fax: +39 06 9067 2856; E-mail: giovanna.frugis@ibba.cnr.it

Abstract

The shoot apical meristem (SAM) is a population of undifferentiated cells at the tip of the shoot axis that establishes early during plant embryogenesis and gives rise to all shoot organs throughout the plant's life. A plethora of different families of transcription factors (TFs) play a key role in establishing the equilibrium between cell differentiation and stem cell maintenance in the SAM. Fine tuning of these regulatory proteins is crucial for a proper and fast SAM response to environmental and hormonal cues, and for development progression. One effective way to rapidly inactivate TFs involves regulated proteolysis by the ubiquitin/26S proteasome system (UPS). However, a possible role of UPS-dependent protein degradation in the regulation of key SAM TFs has not been thoroughly investigated. Here, we summarize recent evidence supporting a role for the UPS in SAM maintenance and function. We integrate this survey with an in silico analysis of publicly-available microarray databases which identified ubiquitin ligases that are expressed in specific areas within the SAM, suggesting that they may regulate or act downstream of meristem-specific factors.

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[ Giovanna Frugis (Corresponding author)]

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