The eta7/csn3-3 Auxin Response Mutant of Arabidopsis Defines a Novel Function for the CSN3 Subunit of the COP9 Signalosome

He Huang, Marcel Quint, William M. Gray

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11 Scopus citations

Abstract

The COP9 signalosome (CSN) is an eight subunit protein complex conserved in all higher eukaryotes. In Arabidopsis thaliana, the CSN regulates auxin response by removing the ubiquitin-like protein NEDD8/RUB1 from the CUL1 subunit of the SCFTIR1/AFB ubiquitin-ligase (deneddylation). Previously described null mutations in any CSN subunit result in the pleiotropic cop/det/fus phenotype and cause seedling lethality, hampering the study of CSN functions in plant development. In a genetic screen to identify enhancers of the auxin response defects conferred by the tir1-1 mutation, we identified a viable csn mutant of subunit 3 (CSN3), designated eta7/csn3-3. In addition to enhancing tir1-1 mutant phenotypes, the csn3-3 mutation alone confers several phenotypes indicative of impaired auxin signaling including auxin resistant root growth and diminished auxin responsive gene expression. Unexpectedly however, csn3-3 plants are not defective in either the CSN-mediated deneddylation of CUL1 or in SCFTIR1-mediated degradation of Aux/IAA proteins. These findings suggest that csn3-3 is an atypical csn mutant that defines a novel CSN or CSN3-specific function. Consistent with this possibility, we observe dramatic differences in double mutant interactions between csn3-3 and other auxin signaling mutants compared to another weak csn mutant, csn1-10. Lastly, unlike other csn mutants, assembly of the CSN holocomplex is unaffected in csn3-3 plants. However, we detected a small CSN3-containing protein complex that is altered in csn3-3 plants. We hypothesize that in addition to its role in the CSN as a cullin deneddylase, CSN3 functions in a distinct protein complex that is required for proper auxin signaling.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere66578
JournalPloS one
Volume8
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 7 2013

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