COP1b, an isoform of COP1 generated by alternative splicing, has a negative effect on COP1 function in regulating light-dependent seedling development in Arabidopsis
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COP1 is a negative regulator of Arabidopsis light-dependent development. Mutation of the COP1 locus causes constitutive photomorphogenesis in the dark. Here, we report the identification of an isoform of the COP1 protein, named COP1b, which is generated by alternative splicing. COP1b has a 60-amino acid deletion in the WD-40 repeat domain relative to the full-length COP1. This splicing step is light-independent and takes place mostly in mature seeds and in germinating seedlings. Transgenic Arabidopsis plants that overexpress COP1b show a de-etiolated phenotype in the dark, with a short hypocotyl, open and developed cotyledons. The transgenic seedlings are adult-lethal. These phenotypes closely resemble that of severe cop-1 mutants, indicating that COP1b has a dominant negative effect on COP1 function.
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