An Arabidopsis reticulon and the atlastin homologue RHD3-like2 act together in shaping the tubular endoplasmic reticulum


Author for correspondence:

Lorenzo Frigerio

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  • The endoplasmic reticulum (ER) is a network of membrane sheets and tubules connected via three-way junctions. A family of proteins, the reticulons, are responsible for shaping the tubular ER. Reticulons interact with other tubule-forming proteins (Dp1 and Yop1p) and the GTPase atlastin. The Arabidopsis homologue of Dp1/Yop1p is HVA22.
  • We show here that a seed-specific isoform of HVA22 labels the ER in tobacco (Nicotiana tabacum) cells but its overexpression does not alter ER morphology. The closest plant homologue of atlastin is RHD3. We show that RHD3-like 2 (RL2), the seed-specific isoform of RHD3, locates to the ER without affecting its shape or Golgi mobility. Expression of RL2-bearing mutations within its GTPase domain induces the formation of large ER strands, suggesting that a functional GTPase domain is important for the formation of three-way junctions.
  • Coexpression of the reticulon RTNLB13 with RL2 resulted in a dramatic alteration of the ER network. This alteration did not depend on an active GTPase domain but required a functional reticulon, as no effect on ER morphology was seen when RL2 was coexpressed with a nonfunctional RTNLB13. RL2 and its GTPase mutants coimmunoprecipitate with RTNLB13.
  • These results indicate that RL2 and RTNLB13 act together in modulating ER morphology.