This review covers recent advances in gibberellin (GA) signaling. GA signaling is now understood to hinge on DELLA proteins. DELLAs negatively regulate GA response by activating the promoters of several genes including Xerico, which upregulates the abscisic acid pathway which is antagonistic to GA. DELLAs also promote transcription of the GA receptor, GIBBERELLIN INSENSITIVE DWARF 1 (GID1) and indirectly regulate GA biosynthesis genes enhancing GA responsiveness and feedback control. A structural analysis of GID1 provides a model for understanding GA signaling. GA binds within a pocket of GID1, changes GID1 conformation and increases the affinity of GID1 for DELLA proteins. GA/GID1/DELLA has increased affinity for an F-Box protein and DELLAs are subsequently degraded via the proteasome. Therefore, GA induces growth through degradation of the DELLAs. The binding of DELLA proteins to three of the PHYTOCHROME INTERACTING FACTOR (PIF) proteins integrates light and GA signaling pathways. This binding prevents PIFs 3, 4, and 5 from functioning as positive transcriptional regulators of growth in the dark. Since PIFs are degraded in light, these PIFs can only function in the combined absence of light and presence of GA. New analyses suggest that GA signaling evolved at the same time or just after the plant vascular system and before plants acquired the capacity for seed reproduction. An analysis of sequences cloned from Physcomitrella suggests that GID1 and DELLAs were the first to evolve but did not initially interact. The more recently diverging spike moss Selaginella has all the genes required for GA biosynthesis and signaling, but the role of GA response in Selaginella physiology remains a mystery.
- Growth regulator
- Plant evolution