Functional analysis of Spindly in gibberellin signaling in Arabidopsis

Aron L. Silverstone, Tong Seung Tseng, Stephen M. Swain, Alyssa Dill, Yong Jeong Sun, Neil E. Olszewski, Tai Ping Sun

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

137 Scopus citations


The Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana) SPINDLY (SPY) protein negatively regulates the gibberellin (GA) signaling pathway. SPY is an O-linked N-acetylglucosamine (GlcNAc) transferase (OGT) with a protein-protein interaction domain consisting of 10 tetratricopeptide repeats (TPR). OGTs add a GlcNAc monosaccharide to serine/threonine residues of nuclear and cytosolic proteins. Determination of the molecular defects in 14 new spy alleles reveals that these mutations cluster in three TPRs and the C-terminal catalytic region. Phenotypic characterization of 12 spy alleles indicates that TPRs 6, 8, and 9 and the catalytic domain are crucial for GA-regulated stem elongation, floral induction, and fertility. TPRs 8 and 9 and the catalytic region are also important for modulating trichome morphology and inflorescence phyllotaxy. Consistent with a role for SPY in embryo development, several alleles affect seedling cotyledon number. These results suggest that three of the TPRs and the OGT activity in SPY are required for its function in GA signal transduction. We also examined the effect of spy mutations on another negative regulator of GA signaling, REPRESSOR OF ga1-3 (RGA). The DELLA motif in RGA is essential for GA-induced proteolysis of RGA, and deletion of this motif (as in rga-Δ17) causes a GA-insensitive dwarf phenotype. Here, we demonstrate that spy partially suppresses the rga-Δ17 phenotype but does not reduce rga-Δ17 or RGA protein levels or alter RGA nuclear localization. We propose that SPY may function as a negative regulator of GA response by increasing the activity of RGA, and presumably other DELLA proteins, by GlcNAc modification.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)987-1000
Number of pages14
JournalPlant physiology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2007


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