Arabidopsis RZFP34/CHYR1, a Ubiquitin E3 Ligase, Regulates Stomatal Movement and Drought Tolerance via SnRK2.6-Mediated Phosphorylation

Shuangcheng Ding, Bin Zhang, Feng Qin
Plant Cell 2015, 27 (11): 3228-44
Abscisic acid (ABA) is a phytohormone that plays a fundamental role in plant development and stress response, especially in the regulation of stomatal closure in response to water deficit stress. The signal transduction that occurs in response to ABA and drought stress is mediated by protein phosphorylation and ubiquitination. This research identified Arabidopsis thaliana RING ZINC-FINGER PROTEIN34 (RZP34; renamed here as CHY ZINC-FINGER AND RING PROTEIN1 [CHYR1]) as an ubiquitin E3 ligase. CHYR1 expression was significantly induced by ABA and drought, and along with its corresponding protein, was expressed mainly in vascular tissues and stomata. Analysis of CHYR1 gain-of-function and loss-of-function plants revealed that CHYR1 promotes ABA-induced stomatal closure, reactive oxygen species production, and plant drought tolerance. Furthermore, CHYR1 interacted with SNF1-RELATED PROTEIN KINASE2 (SnRK2) kinases and could be phosphorylated by SnRK2.6 on the Thr-178 residue. Overexpression of CHYR1(T178A), a phosphorylation-deficient mutant, interfered with the proper function of CHYR1, whereas CHYR1(T178D) phenocopied the gain of function of CHYR1. Thus, this study identified a RING-type ubiquitin E3 ligase that functions positively in ABA and drought responses and detailed how its ubiquitin E3 ligase activity is regulated by SnRK2.6-mediated protein phosphorylation.

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