A critical role for the TIFY motif in repression of jasmonate signaling by a stabilized splice variant of the JASMONATE ZIM-domain protein JAZ10 in Arabidopsis

Hoo Sun Chung, Gregg A Howe
Plant Cell 2009, 21 (1): 131-45
JASMONATE ZIM-domain (JAZ) proteins act as repressors of jasmonate (JA) signaling. Perception of bioactive JAs by the F-box protein CORONATINE INSENSITIVE1 (COI1) causes degradation of JAZs via the ubiquitin-proteasome pathway, which in turn activates the expression of genes involved in plant growth, development, and defense. JAZ proteins contain two highly conserved sequence regions: the Jas domain that interacts with COI1 to destabilize the repressor and the ZIM domain of unknown function. Here, we show that the conserved TIFY motif (TIFF/YXG) within the ZIM domain mediates homo- and heteromeric interactions between most Arabidopsis thaliana JAZs. We have also identified an alternatively spliced form (JAZ10.4) of JAZ10 that lacks the Jas domain and, as a consequence, is highly resistant to JA-induced degradation. Strong JA-insensitive phenotypes conferred by overexpression of JAZ10.4 were suppressed by mutations in the TIFY motif that block JAZ10.4-JAZ interactions. We conclude that JAZ10.4 functions to attenuate signal output in the presence of JA and further suggest that the dominant-negative action of this splice variant involves protein-protein interaction through the ZIM/TIFY domain. The ability of JAZ10.4 to interact with MYC2 is consistent with a model in which a JAZ10.4-containing protein complex directly represses the activity of transcription factors that promote expression of JA response genes.

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