1. Developmental Biology
  2. Plant Biology
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Direct ETTIN-auxin interaction controls chromatin states in gynoecium development

  1. André Kuhn
  2. Sigurd Ramans Harborough
  3. Heather M McLaughlin
  4. Bhavani Natarajan
  5. Inge Verstraeten
  6. Jiří Friml
  7. Stefan Kepinski
  8. Lars Østergaard  Is a corresponding author
  1. John Innes Centre, United Kingdom
  2. University of Leeds, United Kingdom
  3. Institute of Science and Technology, Austria
  4. Institute of Science and Technology Austria, Austria
  5. John Innes Center, United Kingdom
Research Article
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Cite this article as: eLife 2020;9:e51787 doi: 10.7554/eLife.51787

Abstract

Hormonal signalling in animals often involves direct transcription factor-hormone interactions that modulate gene expression1,2. In contrast, plant hormone signalling is most commonly based on de-repression via the degradation of transcriptional repressors3-5. Recently, we uncovered a non-canonical signalling mechanism for the plant hormone auxin whereby auxin directly affects the activity of the atypical auxin response factor (ARF), ETTIN towards target genes without the requirement for protein degradation6,7. Here we show that ETTIN directly binds auxin, leading to dissociation from co-repressor proteins of the TOPLESS/TOPLESS-RELATED family followed by histone acetylation and induction of gene expression. This mechanism is reminiscent of animal hormone signalling as it affects the activity towards regulation of target genes and provides the first example of a DNA-bound hormone receptor in plants. Whilst auxin affects canonical ARFs indirectly by facilitating degradation of Aux/IAA repressors, direct ETTIN-auxin interactions allow switching between repressive and de-repressive chromatin states in an instantly-reversible manner.

Data availability

All data generated or analysed during this study are included in the manuscript and supporting files. Source data files have been provided for Figures 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5

Article and author information

Author details

  1. André Kuhn

    Crop Genetics, John Innes Centre, Norwich, United Kingdom
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
  2. Sigurd Ramans Harborough

    Centre for Plant Sciences, University of Leeds, Leeds, United Kingdom
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
  3. Heather M McLaughlin

    Crop Genetics, John Innes Centre, Norwich, United Kingdom
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
    ORCID icon "This ORCID iD identifies the author of this article:" 0000-0002-3020-7964
  4. Bhavani Natarajan

    Crop Genetics, John Innes Centre, Norwich, United Kingdom
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
  5. Inge Verstraeten

    Institute of Science and Technology, Klosterneuburg, Austria
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
  6. Jiří Friml

    Institute of Science and Technology Austria, Klosterneuburg, Austria
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
    ORCID icon "This ORCID iD identifies the author of this article:" 0000-0002-8302-7596
  7. Stefan Kepinski

    Centre for Plant Sciences, University of Leeds, Leeds, United Kingdom
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
  8. Lars Østergaard

    Department of Crop Genetics, John Innes Center, Norwich, United Kingdom
    For correspondence
    lars.ostergaard@jic.ac.uk
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
    ORCID icon "This ORCID iD identifies the author of this article:" 0000-0002-8497-7657

Funding

Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BB/S002901/1)

  • Lars Østergaard

Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BB/L010623/1)

  • Stefan Kepinski

Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BB/M011216/1)

  • André Kuhn

Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BB/J004553/1)

  • Lars Østergaard

The funders had no role in study design, data collection and interpretation, or the decision to submit the work for publication.

Reviewing Editor

  1. Jürgen Kleine-Vehn, University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Austria

Publication history

  1. Received: September 11, 2019
  2. Accepted: April 5, 2020
  3. Accepted Manuscript published: April 8, 2020 (version 1)
  4. Version of Record published: April 17, 2020 (version 2)

Copyright

© 2020, Kuhn et al.

This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License permitting unrestricted use and redistribution provided that the original author and source are credited.

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