The AT-hook Motif-containing Protein AHL22 Regulates Flowering Initiation by Modifying FLOWERING LOCUS T Chromatin in Arabidopsis
- Yun, Ju; Kim, Youn-Sung; Jung, Jae-Hoon; Seo, Pil Joon; Park, Chung-Mo
- Issue Date
- Journal of Biological Chemistry, Vol.287 No.19, pp.15307-15316
- Coordination of the onset of flowering with developmental status and seasonal cues is critical for reproductive success in plants. Molecular genetic studies on Arabidopsis mutants that have alterations in flowering time have identified a wide array of genes that belong to distinct genetic flowering pathways. The flowering time genes are regulated through versatile molecular and biochemical mechanisms, such as controlled RNA metabolism and chromatin modifications. Recent studies have shown that a group of AT-hook DNA-binding motif-containing proteins plays a role in plant developmental processes and stress responses. Here, we demonstrate that the AT-hook protein AHL22 (AT-hook motif nuclear localized 22) regulates flowering time by modifying FLOWERING LOCUS T (FT) chromatin in Arabidopsis. AHL22 binds to a stretch of the AT-rich sequence in the FT locus. It interacts with a subset of histone deacetylases. An Arabidopsis mutant overexpressing the AHL22 gene (OE-AHL22) exhibited delayed flowering, and FT transcription was significantly reduced in the mutant. Consistent with the delayed flowering and FT suppression in the OE-AHL22 mutant, histone 3 (H3) acetylation was reduced and H3 lysine 9 dimethylation was elevated in the FT chromatin. We propose that AHL22 acts as a chromatin remodeling factor that modifies the architecture of FT chromatin by modulating both H3 acetylation and methylation.
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