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Phosphate (Pi) availability is a major factor limiting plant growth and development. The key transcription factor controlling Pi-starvation response (PSR) is PHOSPHATE STARVATION RESPONSE 1 (PHR1) whose transcript levels do not change with changes in Pi levels. However, how PHR1 stability is regulated at the post-translational level is relatively unexplored in Arabidopsis thaliana. Inositol polyphosphates (InsPn) are important signal molecules that promote the association of stand-alone SPX domain proteins with PHR1 to regulate PSR. Here, we show that NITROGEN LIMITATION ADAPTATION (NLA) E3 ligase can associate with PHR1 through its conserved SPX domain and polyubiquitinate PHR1 in vitro. The association with PHR1 and its ubiquitination is enhanced by InsP6 but not by InsP5. Analysis of InsPn-related mutants and an overexpression plant shows PHR1 levels are more stable in itpk4-1 and vih2-4/VIH1amiRNA but less stable in ITPK4 overexpression plants. Under Pi-deficient conditions, nla seedlings contain high PHR1 levels, display long root hair and accumulate anthocyanin in shoots phenocopying PHR1 overexpression plants. By contrast, NLA overexpression plants phenocopy phr1 whose phenotypes are opposite to those of nla. Our results suggest NLA functions as a negative regulator of Pi response by modulating PHR1 stability and the NLA/PHR1 association depends on InsPn levels. © 2022 The Authors. New Phytologist © 2022 New Phytologist Foundation.


Su-Hyun Park, Jin Seo Jeong, Chung-Hao Huang, Bong Soo Park, Nam-Hai Chua. Inositol polyphosphates-regulated polyubiquitination of PHR1 by NLA E3 ligase during phosphate starvation response in Arabidopsis. The New phytologist. 2023 Feb;237(4):1215-1228

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PMID: 36377104

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