, Volume 247, Issue 5, pp 1247–1260 | Cite as

The rice “fruit-weight 2.2-like” gene family member OsFWL4 is involved in the translocation of cadmium from roots to shoots

  • Wentao Xiong
  • Peng Wang
  • Tianze Yan
  • Baobao Cao
  • Jun Xu
  • Defang Liu
  • Meizhong LuoEmail author
Original Article


Main conclusion

Heterogeneous expression of the rice genes “fruit-weight 2.2-like” (OsFWL) affects Cd resistance in yeast, and OsFWL4 mediates the translocation of Cd from roots to shoots.

Cadmium (Cd) induces chronic and toxic effects in humans. In a previous study (Xu et al. in Planta 238:643–655, 2013), we cloned the rice genes, designated OsFWL1-8, homologous to the tomato fruit-weight 2.2. Here, we show that expression of genes OsFWL3-7 in yeast confers resistance to Cd. The Cd contents of OsFWL3-, -4-, -6- and -7-transformed Cd(II)-sensitive yeast mutant ycf1 cells were strongly decreased compared with those of empty vector, with the strongest resistance to Cd observed in cells expressing OsFWL4. Evaluation of truncated and site-directed mutation derivatives revealed that the CCXXG motifs near the second transmembrane region of OsFWL4 are involved in Cd resistance in yeast. Real-time PCR analysis showed that OsFWL4 expression was induced by CdCl2 stress in rice seedlings. Compared with WT plants, the Cd contents in the shoots of RNAi mediated OsFWL4 knockdown plants were significantly decreased, and Cd translocation from roots to shoots was reduced. According to bimolecular fluorescence complementation, yeast two-hybrid and Western-blotting assays, the OsFWL4 protein forms homo-oligomers. These results suggest that OsFWL4 might act directly as a transporter and is involved in the translocation of Cd from roots to shoots in rice.


CCXXG motif Cd resistance Cd translocation Heavy metals OsFWL 



Fruit-weight 2.2


Heavy metal ATPase


Low-affinity cation transporter 1


Natural resistance-associated macrophage protein


Oryza sativa FW2.2-like


Placenta-specific 8



We thank Dr. Dennis J Thiele (Duke University School of Medicine) for kindly providing the Cd-sensitive ycf1 mutant and Professor Jian Xu (National University of Singapore) for providing the pM999 vectors. We also thank Dr. Tao Luo (Nanchang University) and Tingting Fan (Humboldt-Universitat zu Berlin) for technical assistance. This work was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant no. 31671268).

Supplementary material

425_2018_2859_MOESM1_ESM.doc (1.5 mb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOC 1583 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Wentao Xiong
    • 1
  • Peng Wang
    • 1
  • Tianze Yan
    • 1
  • Baobao Cao
    • 1
  • Jun Xu
    • 1
  • Defang Liu
    • 1
  • Meizhong Luo
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.National Key Laboratory of Crop Genetic Improvement and College of Life Science and TechnologyHuazhong Agricultural UniversityWuhanChina

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