SEF, a new protein required for flowering repression in Arabidopsis, interacts with PIE1 and ARP6

Rosana March-Díaz, Mario García-Domínguez, Francisco J Florencio, José C Reyes
Plant Physiology 2007, 143 (2): 893-901
The SWR1/SRCAP complex is a chromatin-remodeling complex that has been shown to be involved in substitution of histone H2A by the histone variant H2A.Z in yeast (Saccharomyces cerevisiae) and animals. Here, we identify and characterize SERRATED LEAVES AND EARLY FLOWERING (SEF), an Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana) homolog of the yeast SWC6 protein, a conserved subunit of the SWR1/SRCAP complex. SEF loss-of-function mutants present a pleiotropic phenotype characterized by serrated leaves, frequent absence of inflorescence internodes, bushy aspect, and flowers with altered number and size of organs. sef plants flower earlier than wild-type plants both under inductive and noninductive photoperiods. This correlates with strong reduction of FLOWERING LOCUS C and MADS-AFFECTING FLOWERING4 transcript levels and up-regulation of FLOWERING LOCUS T and SUPPRESSOR OF OVEREXPRESSION OF CONSTANS 1 gene expression. The sef phenotype is similar to that of the photoperiod-independent early flowering1 (pie1) and the actin-related protein 6 (arp6) mutants. PIE1 and ARP6 proteins are also homologs of SWR1/SRCAP complex subunits. Analysis of sef pie1 double mutants demonstrates genetic interaction between these two genes. We also show physical interactions between SEF, ARP6, and PIE1 proteins. Taken together, our data indicate that SEF, ARP6, and PIE1 might form a molecular complex in Arabidopsis related to the SWR1/SRCAP complex identified in other eukaryotes.

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