Interaction between BZR1 and PIF4 integrates brassinosteroid and environmental responses

Eunkyoo Oh, Jia-Ying Zhu, Zhi-Yong Wang
Nature Cell Biology 2012, 14 (8): 802-9
Plant growth is coordinately regulated by environmental and hormonal signals. Brassinosteroid (BR) plays essential roles in growth regulation by light and temperature, but the interactions between BR and these environmental signals remain poorly understood at the molecular level. Here, we show that direct interaction between the dark- and heat-activated transcription factor phytochrome-interacting factor 4 (PIF4) and the BR-activated transcription factor BZR1 integrates the hormonal and environmental signals. BZR1 and PIF4 interact with each other in vitro and in vivo, bind to nearly 2,000 common target genes, and synergistically regulate many of these target genes, including the PRE family helix-loop-helix factors required for promoting cell elongation. Genetic analysis indicates that BZR1 and PIFs are interdependent in promoting cell elongation in response to BR, darkness or heat. These results show that the BZR1-PIF4 interaction controls a core transcription network, enabling plant growth co-regulation by the steroid and environmental signals.

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