Peer-Reviewed Publications

      Inhibition of Arabidopsis thaliana CIN‐like TCP transcription factors by Agrobacterium T‐DNA‐encoded 6B proteins

      Potuschak, T.; Palatnik, J.; Schommer, C.; Sierro, N.; Ivanov, N. V.; Kwon, Y.; Genschik, P.; Davière, J.; Otten, L.
      Oct 28, 2019

      Agrobacterium T-DNA-encoded 6B proteins cause remarkable growth effects in plants. Nicotiana otophora carries two cellular T-DNAs with three slightly divergent 6b genes (TE-1-6b-L, TE-1-6b-R and TE-2-6b) originating from a natural transformation event. In Arabidopsis thaliana, expression of 2×35S:TE-2-6b, but not 2×35S:TE-1-6b-L or 2×35S:TE-1-6b-R, led to plants with crinkly leaves, which strongly resembled mutants of the miR319a/TCP module. This module is composed of MIR319A and five CIN-like TCP (TEOSINTHE BRANCHED1, CYCLOIDEA and PROLIFERATING CELL NUCLEAR ANTIGEN BINDING FACTOR) genes (TCP2, TCP3, TCP4, TCP10 and TCP24) targeted by miR319a. The CIN-like TCP genes encode transcription factors and are required for cell division arrest at leaf margins during development. MIR319A overexpression causes excessive growth and crinkly leaves. TE-2-6b plants did not show increased miR319a levels, but the mRNA levels of the TCP4 target gene LOX2 were decreased, as in jaw-D plants. Co-expression of green fluorescent protein (GFP)-tagged TCPs with native or red fluorescent protein (RFP)-tagged TE-6B proteins led to an increase in TCP protein levels and formation of numerous cytoplasmic dots containing 6B and TCP proteins. Yeast double-hybrid experiments confirmed 6B/TCP binding and showed that TE-1-6B-L and TE-1-6B-R bind a smaller set of TCP proteins than TE-2-6B. A single nucleotide mutation in TE-1-6B-R enlarged its TCP-binding repertoire to that of TE-2-6B and caused a crinkly phenotype in Arabidopsis. Deletion analysis showed that TE-2-6B targets the TCP4 DNA-binding domain and directly interferes with transcriptional activation. Taken together, these results provide detailed insights into the mechanism of action of the N. otophora TE-encoded 6b genes.