Molecular and physiological characterization of the Arabidopsis thaliana Oxidation-related Zinc Finger 2, a plasma membrane protein involved in ABA and salt stress response through the ABI2-mediated signaling pathway

Ping Huang, Hyun-Woo Ju, Ji-Hee Min, Xia Zhang, Jung-Sung Chung, Hyeon-Sook Cheong, Cheol Soo Kim
Plant & Cell Physiology 2012, 53 (1): 193-203
CCCH-type zinc finger proteins are important for developmental and environmental responses. However, the precise roles of these proteins in plant stress tolerance are poorly understood. Arabidopsis thaliana Oxidation-related Zinc Finger 2 (AtOZF2) (At4g29190) is an AtOZF1 homolog previously isolated from Arabidopsis, which confers oxidative stress tolerance on plants. The AtOZF2 protein is localized in the plasma membrane, as is AtOZF1. Disruption expression of AtOZF2 led to reduced root length and leaf size. AtOZF2 was implicated to be involved in the ABA and salinity responses. atozf2 antisense lines were more sensitive to ABA and salt stress during the seed germination and cotyledon greening processes. In contrast, AtOZF2-overexpressing plants were more insensitive to ABA and salt stress than the wild type. Interestingly, in the presence of ABA and salt stress, the transcript level of ABA insensitive 2 (ABI2), but not that of ABI1, in AtOZF2-overexpressing plants was lower than that in the wild type, whereas the expression of ABI2 in atozf2 was significantly enhanced. Thus, AtOZF2 is involved in the ABA and salt stress response through the ABI2-mediated signaling pathway. Taken together, these findings provide compelling evidence that AtOZF2 is an important regulator for plant tolerance to abiotic stress.

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