Research Article

Signals from Chloroplasts Converge to Regulate Nuclear Gene Expression

Science  04 May 2007:
Vol. 316, Issue 5825, pp. 715-719
DOI: 10.1126/science. 1140516

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Abstract

Plastid-to-nucleus retrograde signaling coordinates nuclear gene expression with chloroplast function and is essential for the photoautotrophic life-style of plants. Three retrograde signals have been described, but little is known of their signaling pathways. We show here that GUN1, a chloroplast-localized pentatricopeptide-repeat protein, and ABI4, an Apetala 2 (AP2)–type transcription factor, are common to all three pathways. ABI4 binds the promoter of a retrograde-regulated gene through a conserved motif found in close proximity to a light-regulatory element. We propose a model in which multiple indicators of aberrant plastid function in Arabidopsis are integrated upstream of GUN1 within plastids, which leads to ABI4-mediated repression of nuclear-encoded genes.

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