The pepper cysteine/histidine-rich DC1 domain protein CaDC1 binds both RNA and DNA and is required for plant cell death and defense response



  • Plant defense against microbial pathogens is coordinated by a complex regulatory network. Cysteine/histidine-rich DC1 domain proteins mediate a variety of cellular processes involved in plant growth, development and stress responses.
  • We identified a pepper (Capsicum annuum) cysteine/histidine-rich DC1 domain protein gene, CaDC1, which positively regulates plant defense during microbial infection, based on gene silencing and transient expression in pepper, as well as ectopic expression in Arabidopsis.
  • Induction of CaDC1 by avirulent Xanthomonas campestris pv vesicatoria (Xcv) infection was pronounced at both transcriptional and translational levels in pepper leaves. Purified CaDC1 protein bound to both DNA and RNA in vitro, especially in the presence of Zn2+. CaDC1 was localized to both the nucleus and the cytoplasm, which was required for plant cell death signaling. The nuclear localization of CaDC1 was dependent on the divergent C1 (DC1) domain. CaDC1 silencing in pepper conferred increased susceptibility to Xcv infection, which was accompanied by reduced salicylic acid accumulation and defense-related gene expression. Ectopic expression of CaDC1 in Arabidopsis enhanced resistance to Hyaloperonospora arabidopsidis.
  • CaDC1 binds both RNA and DNA and functions as a positive regulator of plant cell death and SA-dependent defense responses.