Indole-3-acetic acid protein conjugates: Novel players in auxin homeostasis

C. Seidel, A. Walz, S. Park, J. D. Cohen, J. Ludwig-Müller

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

58 Scopus citations


Indole-3-acetic acid (IAA) is found in plants in both free and conjugated forms. Within the group of conjugated IAA there is a unique class of proteins and peptides where IAA is attached directly to the polypeptide structure as a prosthetic group. The first gene, iap1, encoding for a protein with IAA as a prosthetic group, was cloned from bean (Phaseolus vulgaris). It was shown that the expression of IAP1 as a major IAA modified protein in bean seed (PvIAP1) was correlated to a developmental period of rapid growth during seed development. Moreover, this protein underwent rapid degradation during germination. Since further molecular analysis was difficult in bean, the iap1 gene was transformed into Arabidopsis thaliana and Medicago truncatula. Expression of the bean iap 7 gene in both plant species under the control of its native promoter targeted protein expression to the seeds. In Arabidopsis no IAA was found to be attached to PvIAP1. These results show that there is specificity to protein modification by IAA and suggests that protein conjugation may be catalyzed by species specific enzymes. Furthermore, subcellular localization showed that in Arabidopsis PvIAP1 was predominantly associated with the microsomal fraction. In addition, a related protein and several smaller peptides that are conjugated to IAA were identified in Arabidopsis. Further research on this novel class of proteins from Arabidopsis will both advance our knowledge of IAA proteins and explore aspects of auxin homeostasis that were not fully revealed by studies of free IAA and lower molecular weight conjugates.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)340-345
Number of pages6
JournalPlant Biology
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 1 2006


  • Arabidopsis thaliana
  • Auxin homeostasis
  • IAA protein
  • Indole-3-acetic acid
  • Medicago truncatula
  • Phaseolus vulgaris
  • Protein modification


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