The recessive epigenetic swellmap mutation affects the expression of two step II splicing factors required for the transcription of the cell proliferation gene STRUWWELPETER and for the timing of cell cycle arrest in the Arabidopsis leaf

Plant Cell. 2005 Jul;17(7):1994-2008. doi: 10.1105/tpc.105.032771. Epub 2005 Jun 3.


Generally, cell division can be uncoupled from multicellular development, but more recent evidence suggests that cell cycle progression and arrest is coupled to organogenesis and growth. We describe a recessive mutant, swellmap (smp), with reduced organ size and cell number. This defect is partially compensated for by an increase in final cell size. The mutation causes a precocious arrest of cell proliferation in the organ primordium and possibly reduces the rate of cell division there. The mutation proved to be an epigenetic mutation (renamed smp(epi)) that defined a single locus, SMP1, but affected the expression of both SMP1 and a second very similar gene, SMP2. Both genes encode CCHC zinc finger proteins with similarities to step II splicing factors involved in 3' splice site selection. Genetic knockouts demonstrate that the genes are functionally redundant and essential. SMP1 expression is associated with regions of cell proliferation. Overexpression of SMP1 produced an increase in organ cell number and a partial decrease in cell expansion. The smp(epi) mutation does not affect expression of eukaryotic cell cycle regulator genes CYCD3;1 and CDC2A but affects expression of the cell proliferation gene STRUWWELPETER (SWP) whose protein has similarities to Med150/Rgr1-like subunits of the Mediator complex required for transcriptional activation. Introduction of SWP cDNA into smp(epi) plants fully restored them to wild-type, but the expression of both SMP1 and SMP2 were also restored in these lines, suggesting a physical interaction among the three proteins and/or genes. We propose that step II splicing factors and a transcriptional Mediator-like complex are involved in the timing of cell cycle arrest during leaf development.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence / genetics
  • Arabidopsis / genetics*
  • Arabidopsis / metabolism
  • Arabidopsis Proteins / genetics*
  • Arabidopsis Proteins / isolation & purification
  • Arabidopsis Proteins / metabolism*
  • Base Sequence / genetics
  • Cell Cycle / genetics
  • Cell Cycle Proteins / genetics
  • Cell Cycle Proteins / metabolism
  • Cell Enlargement
  • Cell Proliferation
  • DNA, Complementary / analysis
  • DNA, Complementary / genetics
  • Epigenesis, Genetic / genetics*
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Plant / genetics
  • Genes, Recessive / genetics
  • Genes, cdc / physiology*
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Mutation / genetics
  • Plant Leaves / genetics
  • RNA Splicing / genetics
  • RNA Splicing Factors
  • Regulatory Elements, Transcriptional / genetics*
  • Ribonucleoproteins / genetics*
  • Ribonucleoproteins / isolation & purification
  • Ribonucleoproteins / metabolism
  • Transcription Factors / genetics
  • Transcription Factors / isolation & purification
  • Transcription Factors / metabolism*


  • Arabidopsis Proteins
  • Cell Cycle Proteins
  • DNA, Complementary
  • RNA Splicing Factors
  • Ribonucleoproteins
  • SMP1 protein, Arabidopsis
  • SMP2 protein, Arabidopsis
  • STRUWWELPETER protein, Arabidopsis
  • Transcription Factors

Associated data