KARRIKIN UP-REGULATED F-BOX 1 (KUF1) imposes negative feedback regulation of karrikin and KAI2 ligand metabolism in Arabidopsis thaliana

Claudia Sepulveda, Michael A. Guzmán, Qingtian Li, José Antonio Villaécija-Aguilar, Stephanie E. Martinez, Muhammad Kamran, Aashima Khosla, Wei Liu, Joshua M. Gendron, Caroline Gutjahr, Mark T. Waters, David C. Nelson

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10 Citations (Web of Science)


Karrikin (KAR) molecules found in smoke stimulate seed germination of many plant species that emerge after fire. Genetic studies in Arabidopsis thaliana have identified core components of the KAR signaling pathway, including an α/β-hydrolase, KARRIKIN INSENSITIVE2 (KAI2), that is required for KAR responses. Although KAI2 is often considered a KAR receptor, recent evidence suggests that KARs may require metabolism to become bioactive signals. In addition to sensing KARs or a KAR-derived signal, KAI2 is thought to recognize an unknown endogenous signal, KAI2 ligand (KL). We generated loss-of-function mutations in KARRIKIN-UP-REGULATED F-BOX1 (KUF1), which is a transcriptional marker of KAR/KL signaling in A. thaliana and other plants. The kuf1 mutant in Arabidopsis shows several phenotypes that are consistent with enhanced activity of the KAI2 pathway, including reduced hypocotyl elongation, enhanced cotyledon expansion in light-grown seedlings, increased root hair density and elongation, and differential expression of KAR/KL-responsive transcriptional markers. Seedling phenotypes of kuf1 are dependent on KAI2 and its signaling partner MORE AXILLARY GROWTH2 (MAX2). Furthermore, kuf1 mutants are hypersensitive to KAR1, but not to other molecules that can signal through KAI2 such as GR24. This implies that kuf1 does not increase the overall responsiveness of the KAI2-dependent signaling pathway, but specifically affects the ability of KAI2 to detect certain signals. We hypothesize that KUF1 imposes feedback inhibition of KL biosynthesis and KAR1 metabolism. As an F-box protein, KUF1 likely participates in an E3 ubiquitin ligase complex that imposes this regulation through polyubiquitylation of a protein target(s).

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere2112820119
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 15 Mar 2022


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