A Rice cis-Natural antisense RNA acts as a translational enhancer for its cognate mRNA and contributes to phosphate homeostasis and plant fitness

M. Jabnoune, David Secco, C. Lecampion, C. Robaglia, Q. Shu, Y. Poirier

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Abstract

cis-natural antisense transcripts (cis-NATs) are widespread in plants and are often associated with downregulation of their associated sense genes. We found that a cis-NAT positively regulates the level of a protein critical for phosphate homeostasis in rice (Oryza sativa). PHOSPHATE1;2 (PHO1;2), a gene involved in phosphate loading into the xylem in rice, and its associated cis-NATPHO1;2 are both controlled by promoters active in the vascular cylinder of roots and leaves. While the PHO1;2 promoter is unresponsive to the plant phosphate status, the cis-NATPHO1;2 promoter is strongly upregulated under phosphate deficiency. Expression of both cis-NATPHO1;2 and the PHO1;2 protein increased in phosphate-deficient plants, while the PHO1;2 mRNA level remained stable. Downregulation of cis-NATPHO1;2 expression by RNA interference resulted in a decrease in PHO1;2 protein, impaired the transfer of phosphate from root to shoot, and decreased seed yield. Constitutive overexpression of NATPHO1;2 in trans led to a strong increase of PHO1;2, even under phosphate-sufficient conditions. Under all conditions, no changes occurred in the level of expression, sequence, or nuclear export of PHO1;2 mRNA. However, expression of cis-NATPHO1;2 was associated with a shift of both PHO1;2 and cis-NATPHO1;2 toward the polysomes. These findings reveal an unexpected role for cis-NATPHO1;2 in promoting PHO1;2 translation and affecting phosphate homeostasis and plant fitness. © 2013 American Society of Plant Biologists.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4166-4182
JournalPlant Cell
Volume25
Issue number10
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2013

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