We previously showed that the ANGUSTIFOLIA (AN) gene regulates the width of leaves of Arabidopsis thaliana, by controlling the polar elongation of leaf cells. In the present study, we found that the abnormal arrangement of cortical microtubules (MTs) in an leaf cells appeared to account entirely for the abnormal shape of the cells. It suggested that the AN gene might regulate the polarity of cell growth by controlling the arrangement of cortical MTs. We cloned the AN gene using a map-based strategy and identified it as the first member of the CtBP family to be found in plants. Wild-type AN cDNA reversed the narrow-leaved phenotype and the abnormal arrangement of cortical MTs of the an-1 mutation. In the animal kingdom, CtBPs self-associate and act as co-repressors of transcription. The AN protein can also self-associate in the yeast two-hybrid system. Furthermore, microarray analysis suggested that the AN gene might regulate the expression of certain genes, e.g. the gene involved in formation of cell walls, MERI5. A discussion of the molecular mechanisms involved in the leaf shape regulation is presented based on our observations.