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Keywords:

  • RABA1;
  • Rab11;
  • salinity stress;
  • post-Golgi traffic;
  • Arabidopsis thaliana ;
  • actin filaments

Summary

RAB GTPases are key regulators of membrane traffic. Among them, RAB11, a widely conserved sub-group, has evolved in a unique way in plants; plant RAB11 members show notable diversity, whereas yeast and animals have only a few RAB11 members. Fifty-seven RAB GTPases are encoded in the Arabidopsis thaliana genome, 26 of which are classified in the RAB11 group (further divided into RABA1–RABA6 sub-groups). Although several plant RAB11 members have been shown to play pivotal roles in plant-unique developmental processes, including cytokinesis and tip growth, molecular and physiological functions of the majority of RAB11 members remain unknown. To reveal precise functions of plant RAB11, we investigated the subcellular localization and dynamics of the largest sub-group of Arabidopsis RAB11, RABA1, which has nine members. RABA1 members reside on mobile punctate structures adjacent to the trans-Golgi network and co-localized with VAMP721/722, R-SNARE proteins that operate in the secretory pathway. In addition, the constitutive-active mutant of RABA1b, RABA1bQ72L , was present on the plasma membrane. The RABA1b -containing membrane structures showed actin-dependent dynamic motion . Vesicles labeled by GFP–RABA1b moved dynamically, forming queues along actin filaments. Interestingly, Arabidopsis plants whose four major RABA1 members were knocked out, and those expressing the dominant-negative mutant of RABA1B, exhibited hypersensitivity to salinity stress. Altogether, these results indicate that RABA1 members mediate transport between the trans-Golgi network and the plasma membrane, and are required for salinity stress tolerance.