Trifurcate Feed-Forward Regulation of Age-Dependent Cell Death Involving miR164 in Arabidopsis

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Science  20 Feb 2009:
Vol. 323, Issue 5917, pp. 1053-1057
DOI: 10.1126/science.1166386

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Aging induces gradual yet massive cell death in higher organisms, including annual plants. Even so, the underlying regulatory mechanisms are barely known, despite the long-standing interest in this topic. Here, we demonstrate that ORE1, which is a NAC (NAM, ATAF, and CUC) transcription factor, positively regulates aging-induced cell death in Arabidopsis leaves. ORE1 expression is up-regulated concurrently with leaf aging by EIN2 but is negatively regulated by miR164. miR164 expression gradually decreases with aging through negative regulation by EIN2, which leads to the elaborate up-regulation of ORE1 expression. However, EIN2 still contributes to aging-induced cell death in the absence of ORE1. The trifurcate feed-forward pathway involving ORE1, miR164, and EIN2 provides a highly robust regulation to ensure that aging induces cell death in Arabidopsis leaves.

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