MicroProtein-mediated recruitment of CONSTANS into a TOPLESS trimeric complex represses flowering in Arabidopsis

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MicroProteins are short, single domain proteins that act by sequestering larger, multi-domain proteins into non-functional complexes. MicroProteins have been identified in plants and animals, where they are mostly involved in the regulation of developmental processes. Here we show that two Arabidopsis thaliana microProteins, miP1a and miP1b, physically interact with CONSTANS (CO) a potent regulator of flowering time. The miP1a/b-type microProteins evolved in dicotyledonous plants and have an additional carboxy-terminal PF(V/L)FL motif. This motif enables miP1a/b microProteins to interact with TOPLESS/TOPLESS-RELATED (TPL/TPR) proteins. Interaction of CO with miP1a/b/TPL causes late flowering due to a failure in the induction of FLOWERING LOCUS T (FT) expression under inductive long day conditions. Both miP1a and miP1b are expressed in vascular tissue, where CO and FT are active. Genetically, miP1a/b act upstream of CO thus our findings unravel a novel layer of flowering time regulation via microProtein-inhibition.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere1005959
JournalP L o S Genetics
Issue number3
Number of pages22
Publication statusPublished - 2016

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