A nucleus shuttle transcription factor regulates cell death and disease resistance

Rice APIP5 combines transcription factors and RNA binding activities to regulate cell death and immune response Courtesy of the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences

Recently, the research innovation team of crop pathogen biological function genome research at the Institute of Plant Protection of the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences found for the first time that the plant bZIP type transcription factor APIP5 has the dual activity of binding DNA and RNA, and a new mechanism for regulating rice cell death and disease resistance at the level of transcription and transcription, and the relevant research results were published in Nucleic Acids Research.

Rice blast is one of the most serious fungal diseases in rice production, and it is of great significance to analyze the interaction mechanism between rice and rice blast bacteria for the development of new disease prevention and control strategies and the selection and breeding of new disease-resistant varieties. The team’s previous study found that rice APIP5 negatively regulates cell death and disease resistance by regulating secondary metabolites. The APIP5 protein contains nuclear localization signaling and nuclear output signaling motifs, and the biological significance of its localization in the nucleus and cytoplasm is unclear.

The study found that mutations in nuclear localization signals inhibited the accumulation of APIP5 in rice nuclei, induced the occurrence of cell death, and enhanced resistance to blast mold.

Late rice development, the accumulation of APIP5 in the nucleus increases and binds to the promoters of cell wall-associated kinase and cytochromase genes, thereby inhibiting the expression of both. These two target genes are regulating the rice basal immune response by regulating lignin accumulation and secondary metabolite synthesis and reactive oxygen species outbreaks, respectively.

Interestingly, APIP5 also has the activity of binding RNA, infestation of Oryzae promotes its enrichment in cytoplasmic RNA processing bodies, specifically binds mRNA sequences of two rice disease resistance and cell death-related genes to promote its degradation, and regulates the rice basal immune response at post-transcriptional levels.

This study reveals a new mechanism for plant transcription factors to coordinate the regulation of immune responses by shuttling through the nucleus and cytoplasm, providing new ideas for the development of rice disease prevention and control strategies.

The research was funded by the National Natural Science Foundation of China and the Science and Technology Innovation Project of the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences. (Source: China Science Daily Li Chen)

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