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Despite increasing reports on the function of CCCH zinc finger proteins in plant development and stress response, the functions and molecular aspects of many non-tandem CCCH zinc finger (non-TZF) proteins remain uncharacterized. AtC3H59/ZFWD3 is an Arabidopsis non-TZF protein and belongs to the ZFWD subfamily harboring a CCCH zinc finger motif and a WD40 domain. In this study, we characterized the biological and molecular functions of AtC3H59, which is subcellularly localized in the nucleus. The seeds of AtC3H59-overexpressing transgenic plants (OXs) germinated faster than those of wild type (WT), whereas atc3h59 mutant seeds germinated slower than WT seeds. AtC3H59 OX seedlings were larger and heavier than WT seedlings, whereas atc3h59 mutant seedlings were smaller and lighter than WT seedlings. Moreover, AtC3H59 OX seedlings had longer primary root length than WT seedlings, whereas atc3h59 mutant seedlings had shorter primary root length than WT seedlings, owing to altered cell division activity in the root meristem. During seed development, AtC3H59 OXs formed larger and heavier seeds than WT. Using yeast two-hybrid screening, we isolated Desi1, a PPPDE family protein, as an interacting partner of AtC3H59. AtC3H59 and Desi1 interacted via their WD40 domain and C-terminal region, respectively, in the nucleus. Taken together, our results indicate that AtC3H59 has pleiotropic effects on seed germination, seedling development, and seed development, and interacts with Desi1 in the nucleus via its entire WD40 domain. To our knowledge, this is the first report to describe the biological functions of the ZFWD protein and Desi1 in Arabidopsis.


Hye-Yeon Seok, Hyungjoon Bae, Taehyoung Kim, Syed Muhammad Muntazir Mehdi, Linh Vu Nguyen, Sun-Young Lee, Yong-Hwan Moon. Non-TZF Protein AtC3H59/ZFWD3 Is Involved in Seed Germination, Seedling Development, and Seed Development, Interacting with PPPDE Family Protein Desi1 in Arabidopsis. International journal of molecular sciences. 2021 Apr 29;22(9)

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PMID: 33947021

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