These authors contributed equally to this work.
Evolutionary and molecular analysis of Dof transcription factors identified a conserved motif for intercellular protein trafficking
Article first published online: 18 MAR 2013
© 2013 The Authors. New Phytologist © 2013 New Phytologist Trust
Volume 198, Issue 4, pages 1250–1260, June 2013
How to Cite
Chen, H., Ahmad, M., Rim, Y., Lucas, W. J. and Kim, J.-Y. (2013), Evolutionary and molecular analysis of Dof transcription factors identified a conserved motif for intercellular protein trafficking. New Phytologist, 198: 1250–1260. doi: 10.1111/nph.12223
- Issue published online: 7 MAY 2013
- Article first published online: 18 MAR 2013
- Manuscript Accepted: 7 FEB 2013
- Manuscript Received: 17 NOV 2012
- World Class University. Grant Number: R33-10002
- Ministry of Education, Science and Technology
- Next-Generation BioGreen 21. Grant Number: PJ00798402
- Rural Development Administration
- INTERCELLULAR TRAFFICKING DOF ;
- noncell autonomous;
- zinc finger motif
- Cell-to-cell trafficking of transcription factors (TFs) has been shown to play an important role in the regulation of plant developmental events, but the evolutionary relationship between cell-autonomous and noncell-autonomous (NCA) TFs remains elusive.
- AtDof4.1, named INTERCELLULAR TRAFFICKING DOF 1 (ITD1), was chosen as a representative NCA member to explore this evolutionary relationship. Using domain structure–function analyses and swapping studies, we examined the cell-to-cell trafficking of plant-specific Dof TF family members across Arabidopsis and other species.
- We identified a conserved intercellular trafficking motif (ITM) that is necessary and sufficient for selective cell-to-cell trafficking and can impart gain-of-function cell-to-cell movement capacity to an otherwise cell-autonomous TF. The functionality of related motifs from Dof members across the plant kingdom extended, surprisingly, to a unicellular alga that lacked plasmodesmata. By contrast, the algal homeodomain related to the NCA KNOX homeodomain was either inefficient or unable to impart such cell-to-cell movement function.
- The Dof ITM appears to predate the evolution of selective plasmodesmal trafficking in the plant kingdom, which may well have acted as a molecular template for the evolution of Dof proteins as NCA TFs. However, the ability to efficiently traffic for KNOX homeodomain (HD) proteins may have been acquired during the evolution of early nonvascular plants.