A stress-responsive caleosin-like protein, AtCLO4, acts as a negative regulator of ABA responses in Arabidopsis

Yun Young Kim, Kwang Wook Jung, Kyoung Shin Yoo, Ji Ung Jeung, Jeong Sheop Shin
Plant & Cell Physiology 2011, 52 (5): 874-84
Caleosins or related sequences have been found in a wide range of higher plants. In Arabidopsis, seed-specific caleosins are viewed as oil-body (OB)-associated proteins that possess Ca(2+)-dependent peroxygenase activity and are involved in processes of lipid degradation. Recent experimental evidence suggests that one of the Arabidopsis non-seed caleosins, AtCLO3, is involved in controlling stomatal aperture during the drought response; the roles of the other caleosin-like proteins in Arabidopsis remain largely uncharacterized. We have demonstrated that a novel stress-responsive and OB-associated Ca(2+)-binding caleosin-like protein, AtCLO4, is expressed in non-seed tissues of Arabidopsis, including guard cells, and down-regulated following exposure to exogenous ABA and salt stress. At the seed germination stage, a loss-of-function mutant (atclo4) was hypersensitive to ABA, salt and mannitol stresses, whereas AtCLO4-overexpressing (Ox) lines were more hyposensitive to those stresses than the wild type. In adult stage, atclo4 mutant and AtCLO4-Ox plants showed enhanced and decreased drought tolerance, respectively. Following exposure to exogenous ABA, the expression of key ABA-dependent regulatory genes, such as ABF3 and ABF4, was up-regulated in the atclo4 mutant, while it was down-regulated in AtCLO4-Ox lines. Based on these results, we propose that the OB-associated Ca(2+)-binding AtCLO4 protein acts as a negative regulator of ABA responses in Arabidopsis.

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