Molecular dissection of a rice microtubule-associated RING finger protein and its potential role in salt tolerance in Arabidopsis
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Although a number of RING E3 ligases in plants have been demonstrated to play key roles in a wide range of abiotic stresses, relatively few studies have detailed how RING E3 ligases exert their cellular actions. We describe Oryza sativa RING finger protein with microtubule-targeting domain 1 (OsRMT1), a functional RING E3 ligase that is likely involved in a salt tolerance mechanism. Functional characterization revealed that OsRMT1 undergoes homodimer formation and subsequently autoubiquitination-mediated protein degradation under normal conditions. By contrast, OsRMT1 is predominantly found in the nucleus and microtubules and its degradation is inhibited under salt stress. Domain dissection of OsRMT1 indicates that the N-terminal domain is required for microtubule targeting. Bimolecular fluorescence complementation analysis and degradation assay revealed that OsRMT1-interacted proteins localized in various organelles were degraded via the ubiquitin (Ub)/26S proteasome-dependent pathway. Interestingly, when OsRMT1 and its target proteins were co-expressed in N. benthamiana leaves, the protein–protein interactions appeared to take place mainly in the microtubules. Overexpression of OsRMT1 in Arabidopsis resulted in increased tolerance to salt stress. Our findings suggest that the abundance of microtubule-associated OsRMT1 is strictly regulated, and OsRMT1 may play a relevant role in salt stress response by modulating levels of its target proteins.
KeywordsMicrotubules Rice RING E3 ligase Salt stress Ubiquitination
This work was carried out with the support of “Cooperative Research Program for Agriculture Science & Technology Development (Project No. PJ01115201)” Rural Development Administration, Republic of Korea, and a grant from the Basic Science Research Program through the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) funded by the Ministry of Education (NRF-2013R1A1A4A01011064).
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Conflict of interest
The authors declare no conflict of interest.
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