Repression of jasmonate signaling by a non-TIFY JAZ protein in Arabidopsis

Caitlin Thireault, Christine Shyu, Yuki Yoshida, Brian St Aubin, Marcelo L Campos, Gregg A Howe
Plant Journal 2015, 82 (4): 669-79
JAsmonate ZIM-domain (JAZ) proteins repress the activity of transcription factors that execute responses to the plant hormone jasmonoyl-L-isoleucine (JA-Ile). The ZIM protein domain recruits the co-repressors NINJA and TOPLESS to JAZ-bound transcription factors, and contains a highly conserved TIF[F/Y]XG motif that defines the larger family of TIFY proteins to which JAZs belong. Here, we report that diverse plant species contain genes encoding putative non-TIFY JAZ proteins, including a previously unrecognized JAZ repressor in Arabidopsis (JAZ13, encoded by At3g22275). JAZ13 is most closely related to JAZ8 and includes divergent EAR, TIFY/ZIM, and Jas motifs. Unlike JAZ8, however, JAZ13 contains a Ser-rich C-terminal tail that is a site for phosphorylation. Overexpression of JAZ13 resulted in reduced sensitivity to JA, attenuation of wound-induced expression of JA-response genes, and decreased resistance to insect herbivory. JAZ13 interacts with the bHLH transcription factor MYC2 and the co-repressor TOPLESS but, consistent with the absence of a TIFY motif, neither NINJA nor other JAZs. Analysis of single and higher-order T-DNA insertion jaz null mutants provided further evidence that JAZ13 is a repressor JA signaling. Our results demonstrate that proteins outside the TIFY family are functional JAZ repressors and further suggest that this expansion of the JAZ family allows fine-tuning of JA-mediated transcriptional responses.

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