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Publikationen - Molekulare Signalverarbeitung

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Navarro-Quezada, A.; Schumann, N. & Quint, M. Plant F-Box protein evolution is determined by lineage-specific timing of major gene family expansion waves PLoS One 8, e68672, (2013) DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0068672

F-box proteins (FBPs) represent one of the largest and fastest evolving gene/protein families in the plant kingdom. The FBP superfamily can be divided in several subfamilies characterized by different C-terminal protein-protein interaction domains that recruit targets for proteasomal degradation. Hence, a clear picture of their phylogeny and molecular evolution is of special interest for the general understanding of evolutionary histories of multi-domain and/or large protein families in plants. In an effort to further understand the molecular evolution of F-box family proteins, we asked whether the largest subfamily in Arabidopsis thaliana, which carries a C-terminal F-box associated domain (FBA proteins) shares evolutionary patterns and signatures of selection with other FBPs. To address this question, we applied phylogenetic and molecular evolution analyses in combination with the evaluation of transcriptional profiles. Based on the 2219 FBA proteins we de novo identified in 34 completely sequenced plant genomes, we compared their evolutionary patterns to a previously analyzed large subfamily carrying C-terminal kelch repeats. We found that these two large FBP subfamilies generally tend to evolve by massive waves of duplication, followed by sequence conservation of the F-box domain and sequence diversification of the target recruiting domain. We conclude that the earlier in evolutionary time a major wave of expansion occurred, the more pronounced these selection signatures are. As a consequence, when performing cross species comparisons among FBP subfamilies, significant differences will be observed in the selective signatures of protein-protein interaction domains. Depending on the species, the investigated subfamilies comprise up to 45% of the complete superfamily, indicating that other subfamilies possibly follow similar modes of evolution.

Huang, H.; Quint, M. & Gray, W.M. The <i>eta7/csn3-3</i> auxin response mutant of Arabidopsis defines a novel function for the CSN3 subunit of the COP9 signalosome  PLoS One 8, e66578, (2013) DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0066578

TIR1/AFBTIR1The COP9 signalosome (CSN) is an eight subunit protein complex conserved in all higher eukaryotes. In Arabidopsis thaliana, the CSN regulates auxin response by removing the ubiquitin-like protein NEDD8/RUB1 from the CUL1 subunit of the SCF ubiquitin-ligase (deneddylation). Previously described null mutations in any CSN subunit result in the pleiotropic cop/det/fus phenotype and cause seedling lethality, hampering the study of CSN functions in plant development. In a genetic screen to identify enhancers of the auxin response defects conferred by the tir1-1 mutation, we identified a viable csn mutant of subunit 3 (CSN3), designated eta7/csn3-3. In addition to enhancing tir1-1 mutant phenotypes, the csn3-3 mutation alone confers several phenotypes indicative of impaired auxin signaling including auxin resistant root growth and diminished auxin responsive gene expression. Unexpectedly however, csn3-3 plants are not defective in either the CSN-mediated deneddylation of CUL1 or in SCF-mediated degradation of Aux/IAA proteins. These findings suggest that csn3-3 is an atypical csn mutant that defines a novel CSN or CSN3-specific function. Consistent with this possibility, we observe dramatic differences in double mutant interactions between csn3-3 and other auxin signaling mutants compared to another weak csn mutant, csn1-10. Lastly, unlike other csn mutants, assembly of the CSN holocomplex is unaffected in csn3-3 plants. However, we detected a small CSN3-containing protein complex that is altered in csn3-3 plants. We hypothesize that in addition to its role in the CSN as a cullin deneddylase, CSN3 functions in a distinct protein complex that is required for proper auxin signaling.
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