J Integr Plant Biol.

• Research Articles •    

Brassinosteroids inhibit miRNA-mediated translational repression by decreasing AGO1 on the endoplasmic reticulum

Taiyun Wang , Yanhua Zheng , Qi Tang , Songxiao Zhong , Wei Su and Binglian Zheng*   

  1. State Key Laboratory of Genetic Engineering, Ministry of Education Key Laboratory of Biodiversity Sciences and Ecological Engineering, Collaborative Innovation Center of Genetics and Development, Institute of Plant Biology, School of Life Sciences, Fudan University, Shanghai 200438, China

    *Correspondence: Binglian Zheng (zhengbl@fudan.edu.cn)
  • Received:2021-04-06 Accepted:2021-05-12 Online:2021-05-21

Abstract: Translational repression is a conserved mechanism in microRNA (miRNA)-guided gene silencing. In Arabidopsis, ARGONAUTE1 (AGO1), the major miRNA effector, localizes in the cytoplasm for mRNA cleavage and at the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) for translational repression of target genes. However, the mechanism underlying miRNA-mediated translational repression is poorly understood. In particular, how the subcellular partitioning of AGO1 is regulated is largely unexplored. Here, we show that the plant hormone brassinosteroids (BRs) inhibit miRNA-mediated translational repression by negatively regulating the distribution of AGO1 at the ER in Arabidopsis thaliana. We show that the protein levels rather than the transcript levels of miRNA target genes were reduced in BR-deficient mutants but increased under BR treatments. The localization of AGO1 at the ER was significantly decreased under BR treatments while it was increased in the BR-deficient mutants. Moreover, ROTUNDIFOLIA3 (ROT3), an enzyme involved in BR biosynthesis, co-localizes with AGO1 at the ER and interacts with AGO1 in a GW motif-dependent manner. Complementation analysis showed that the AGO1–ROT3 interaction is necessary for the function of ROT3. Our findings provide new clues to understand how miRNA-mediated gene silencing is regulated by plant endogenous hormones.

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