The atrzf1 mutation of the novel RING-type E3 ubiquitin ligase increases proline contents and enhances drought tolerance in Arabidopsis

Hyun-Woo Ju, Ji-Hee Min, Moon-Soo Chung, Cheol Soo Kim
Plant Science: An International Journal of Experimental Plant Biology 2013, 203-204: 1-7
The covalent attachment of ubiquitin to proteins plays a fundamental role in the regulation of cellular function through biological events involving abiotic or biotic stress responses, immune responses, and apoptosis. Here, we characterize the biological function of the Arabidopsis thaliana RING Zinc Finger 1 (AtRZF1) in dehydration response. AtRZF1 was significantly reduced by drought stress. The atrzf1 mutant was less sensitive to osmotic stress than the wild-type during early seedling development, whereas transgenic plants overexpressing AtRZF1 were hypersensitive, indicating that AtRZF1 negatively regulates drought-mediated control of early seedling development. Moreover, the ectopic expression of the AtRZF1 gene was very significantly influential in drought sensitive parameters including proline content, water loss, membrane ion leakage and the expression of dehydration stress-related genes. AtRZF1 is a functional E3 ubiquitin ligase, and its conserved C3H2C3-type RING domain is likely important for the biological function of AtRZF1 in drought response. Together, these results suggest that the E3 ligase AtRZF1 is an important regulator of water deficit stress during early seedling development.

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