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Interdependency of brassinosteroid and auxin signaling in Arabidopsis

TitleInterdependency of brassinosteroid and auxin signaling in Arabidopsis
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2004
AuthorsNemhauser JL, Mockler TC, Chory J
JournalPLoS Biol
Date Published2004
ISBN Number1545-7885 (Electronic)
Keywords*Gene Expression Regulation, Plant, *Signal Transduction, Amino Acid Motifs, Arabidopsis Proteins/metabolism, Arabidopsis/*metabolism, Polymerase Chain Reaction, Cell Nucleus/metabolism, Sexism, Down-Regulation, Genes, Plant, Genome, Plant, Hypocotyl, Indoleacetic Acids/*metabolism, Models, Biological, Systems Theory, Plant Growth Regulators/metabolism, Promoter Regions, Genetic, Software, Steroids/*metabolism, Temperature, Transcription, Genetic, Up-Regulation

How growth regulators provoke context-specific signals is a fundamental question in developmental biology. In plants, both auxin and brassinosteroids (BRs) promote cell expansion, and it was thought that they activated this process through independent mechanisms. In this work, we describe a shared auxin:BR pathway required for seedling growth. Genetic, physiological, and genomic analyses demonstrate that response from one pathway requires the function of the other, and that this interdependence does not act at the level of hormone biosynthetic control. Increased auxin levels saturate the BR-stimulated growth response and greatly reduce BR effects on gene expression. Integration of these two pathways is downstream from BES1 and Aux/IAA proteins, the last known regulatory factors acting downstream of each hormone, and is likely to occur directly on the promoters of auxin:BR target genes. We have developed a new approach to identify potential regulatory elements acting in each hormone pathway, as well as in the shared auxin:BR pathway. We show that one element highly overrepresented in the promoters of auxin- and BR-induced genes is responsive to both hormones and requires BR biosynthesis for normal expression. This work fundamentally alters our view of BR and auxin signaling and describes a powerful new approach to identify regulatory elements required for response to specific stimuli.