MYBL2 is a substrate of GSK3-like kinase BIN2 and acts as a corepressor of BES1 in brassinosteroid signaling pathway in Arabidopsis

Huaxun Ye, Lei Li, Hongqing Guo, Yanhai Yin
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 2012 December 4, 109 (49): 20142-7
Plant steroid hormones, brassinosteroids (BRs), play important roles in plants. BRs regulate the expression of several thousand genes, half of which are induced and the other half repressed by the hormone. BRs signal through plasma membrane-localized receptor kinase brassinosteroid-insensitive 1 (BRI1), BRI1-associated receptor kinase (BAK1), and several intermediates to regulate the protein levels, cellular localizations, and/or DNA binding of BRI1-EMS suppressor 1 (BES1)/brassinazole-resistant 1 (BZR1) family transcription factors. Although BES1 is known to interact with other transcription factors, histone-modifying enzymes, and transcription elongation factors to activate BR-induced genes, how BES1 mediates the BR-repressed gene expression is not known. Here, we show that BES1 interacts with myeloblastosis family transcription factor-like 2 (MYBL2), a transcription repressor, to down-regulate BR-repressed gene expression. The loss-of-function mybl2 mutant enhances the phenotype of a weak allele of bri1 and suppresses the constitutive BR-response phenotype of bes1-D. The results suggest that suppression of BR-repressed gene expression is required for optimal BR response. Moreover, MYBL2 is a substrate of glycogen synthase kinase 3 (GSK3)-like kinase brassinosteroid-insensitive 2 (BIN2), which has been well established as a negative regulator in the BR pathway by phosphorylating and inhibiting the functions of BES1/BZR1. Unlike BIN2 phosphorylation of BES1/BZR1 leading to protein degradation, BIN2 phosphorylation stabilizes MYBL2. Such dual role of phosphorylation has also been reported in WNT signaling pathway in which GSK3 phosphorylation destabilizes β-catenin and stabilizes Axin, a scaffolding protein facilitating the phosphorylation of β-catenin by GSK3. Our results thus establish the mechanisms for BR-repressed gene expression and the integration of BR signaling and BR transcriptional network.

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