Calderón Villalobos, L.I.; Kuhnle, C.; Dohmann, E.M.; Li, H.; Bevan, M.; Schwechheimer, C. The evolutionarily conserved TOUGH protein is required for proper development of Arabidopsis thaliana Plant Cell 17,9, 24873-2485, (2005)
In this study, we characterize the evolutionarily conserved TOUGH (TGH) protein as a novel regulator required for Arabidopsis thaliana development. We initially identified TGH as a yeast two-hybrid system interactor of the transcription initiation factor TATA-box binding protein 2. TGH has apparent orthologs in all eukaryotic model organisms with the exception of the budding yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae. TGH contains domains with strong similarity to G-patch and SWAP domains, protein domains that are characteristic of RNA binding and processing proteins. Furthermore, TGH colocalizes with the splicing regulator SRp34 to subnuclear particles. We therefore propose that TGH plays a role in RNA binding or processing. Arabidopsis tgh mutants display developmental defects, including reduced plant height, polycotyly, and reduced vascularization. We found TGH expression to be increased in the amp1-1 mutant, which is similar to tgh mutants with respect to polycotyly and defects in vascular development. Interestingly, we observed a strong genetic interaction between TGH and AMP1 in that tgh-1 amp1-1 double mutants are extremely dwarfed and severely affected in plant development in general and vascular development in particular when compared with the single mutants.
Abel, S.; Savchenko, T.; Levy, M. Genome-wide comparative analysis of the <em>IQD</em> gene families in <em>Arabidopsis thaliana</em> and Oryza sativa BMC Evolutionary Biology 5, 72 (1-25), (2005)
We identified and analyzed 33 and 29 IQD1-like genes in Arabidopsis thaliana and Oryza sativa, respectively. The encoded IQD proteins contain a plant-specific domain of 67 conserved amino acid residues, referred to as the IQ67 domain, which is characterized by a unique and repetitive arrangement of three different calmodulin recruitment motifs, known as the IQ, 1-5-10, and 1-8-14 motifs. We demonstrated calmodulin binding for IQD20, the smallest IQD protein in Arabidopsis, which consists of a C-terminal IQ67 domain and a short N-terminal extension. A striking feature of IQD proteins is the high isoelectric point (~10.3) and frequency of serine residues (~11%). We compared the Arabidopsis and rice IQD gene families in terms of gene structure, chromosome location, predicted protein properties and motifs, phylogenetic relationships, and evolutionary history. The existence of an IQD-like gene in bryophytes suggests that IQD proteins are an ancient family of calmodulin-binding proteins and arose during the early evolution of land plants. Comparative phylogenetic analyses indicate that the major IQD gene lineages originated before the monocot-eudicot divergence. The extant IQD loci in Arabidopsis primarily resulted from segmental duplication and reflect preferential retention of paralogous genes, which is characteristic for proteins with regulatory functions. Interaction of IQD1 and IQD20 with calmodulin and the presence of predicted calmodulin binding sites in all IQD family members suggest that IQD proteins are a new class of calmodulin targets. The basic isoelectric point of IQD proteins and their frequently predicted nuclear localization suggest that IQD proteins link calcium signaling pathways to the regulation of gene expression. Our comparative genomics analysis of IQD genes and encoded proteins in two model plant species provides the first step towards the functional dissection of this emerging family of putative calmodulin targets.