J Integr Plant Biol. ›› 2021, Vol. 63 ›› Issue (6): 1120-1132.DOI: 10.1111/jipb.13109

Special Issue: Development Epigenetics

• Cell and Developmental Biology • Previous Articles     Next Articles

NF-YCs modulate histone variant H2A.Z deposition to regulate photomorphogenic growth in Arabidopsis

Chunyu Zhang1, Qian Qian1, Xiang Huang1, Wenbin Zhang1,3, Xu Liu1,2 and Xingliang Hou1,2*   

  1. 1Key Laboratory of South China Agricultural Plant Molecular Analysis and Genetic Improvement & Guangdong Provincial Key Laboratory of Applied Botany, South China Botanical Garden, The Chinese Academy of Sciences, Guangzhou 510650, China
    2Center of Economic Botany, Core Botanical Gardens, The Chinese Academy of Sciences, Guangzhou 510650, China
    3College of Life Sciences, University of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China

    *Correspondence: Xingliang Hou (houxl@scib.ac.cn)
  • Received:2021-04-01 Accepted:2021-05-01 Online:2021-05-04 Published:2021-06-01

Abstract: In plants, light signals trigger a photomorphogenic program involving transcriptome changes, epigenetic regulation, and inhibited hypocotyl elongation. The evolutionarily conserved histone variant H2A.Z, which functions in transcriptional regulation, is deposited in chromatin by the SWI2/SNF2-RELATED 1 complex (SWR1c). However, the role of H2A.Z in photomorphogenesis and its deposition mechanism remain unclear. Here, we show that in Arabidopsis thaliana, H2A.Z deposition at its target loci is induced by light irradiation via NUCLEAR FACTOR-Y, subunit C (NF-YC) proteins, thereby inhibiting photomorphogenic growth. NF-YCs physically interact with ACTIN-RELATED PROTEIN6 (ARP6), a key component of the SWR1c that is essential for depositing H2A.Z, in a light-dependent manner. NF-YCs and ARP6 function together as negative regulators of hypocotyl growth by depositing H2A.Z at their target genes during photomorphogenesis. Our findings reveal an important role for the histone variant H2A.Z in photomorphogenic growth and provide insights into a novel transcription regulatory node that mediates H2A.Z deposition to control plant growth in response to changing light conditions.

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