A membrane-bound NAC transcription factor, ANAC017, mediates mitochondrial retrograde signaling in Arabidopsis

Sophia Ng, Aneta Ivanova, Owen Duncan, S.R. Law, Olivier Van Aken, I. De Clercq, Yan Wang, Christopher Carrie, L. Xu, B. Kmiec, Hayden Walker, F. Van Breusegem, James Whelan, Estelle Giraud

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

266 Citations (Scopus)


Plants require daily coordinated regulation of energy metabolism for optimal growth and survival and therefore need to integrate cellular responses with both mitochondrial and plastid retrograde signaling. Using a forward genetic screen to characterize regulators of alternative oxidase1a (rao) mutants, we identified RAO2/Arabidopsis NAC domain-containing protein17 (ANAC017) as a direct positive regulator of AOX1a. RAO2/ANAC017 is targeted to connections and junctions in the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) and F-actin via a C-terminal transmembrane (TM) domain. A consensus rhomboid protease cleavage site is present in ANAC017 just prior to the predicted TM domain. Furthermore, addition of the rhomboid protease inhibitor N-p-Tosyl-L-Phe chloromethyl abolishes the induction of AOX1a upon antimycin A treatment. Simultaneous fluorescent tagging of ANAC017 with N-terminal red fluorescent protein (RFP) and C-terminal green fluorescent protein (GFP) revealed that the N-terminal RFP domain migrated into the nucleus, while the C-terminal GFP tag remained in the ER. Genome-wide analysis of the transcriptional network regulated by RAO2/ANAC017 under stress treatment revealed that RAO2/ANAC017 function was necessary for >85% of the changes observed as a primary response to cytosolic hydrogen peroxide (H2O2), but only ~33% of transcriptional changes observed in response to antimycin A treatment. Plants with mutated rao2/anac017 were more stress sensitive, whereas a gain-of-function mutation resulted in plants that had lower cellular levels of H2O2 under untreated conditions. © 2013 American Society of Plant Biologists. All rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3450-3471
JournalPlant Cell
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 2013


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