The lba1 mutation of UPF1 RNA helicase involved in nonsense-mediated mRNA decay causes pleiotropic phenotypic changes and altered sugar signalling in Arabidopsis

Plant J. 2006 Jul;47(1):49-62. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-313X.2006.02771.x. Epub 2006 Jun 1.


The low-beta-amylase1 (lba1) mutant of Arabidopsis thaliana has reduced sugar-induced expression of Atbeta-Amy and shows pleiotropic phenotypes such as early flowering; short day-sensitive growth; and seed germination that is hypersensitive to glucose and abscisic acid and resistant to mannose. lba1 was a missense mutation of UPF1 RNA helicase involved in nonsense-mediated mRNA decay (NMD), which eliminates mRNAs with premature termination codons (PTCs), and replaces highly conserved Gly851 of UPF1 with Glu. Expression of the wild-type UPF1 in lba1 rescued not only the reduced sugar-inducible gene expression, but also early flowering and altered seed-germination phenotypes. Sugar-inducible mRNAs were over-represented among transcripts decreased in sucrose-treated lba1 compared with Col plants, suggesting that UPF1 is involved in the expression of a subset of sugar-inducible genes. On the other hand, transcripts increased in lba1, which are likely to contain direct targets of NMD, included mRNAs for many transcription factors and metabolic enzymes that play diverse functions. Among these, the level of an alternatively spliced transcript of AtTFIIIA containing PTC was 17-fold higher in lba1 compared with Col plants, and it was reduced to the level in Col by expressing the wild-type UPF1. The lba1 mutant provides a good tool for studying NMD in plants.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Alternative Splicing
  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Arabidopsis / genetics
  • Arabidopsis / metabolism*
  • Arabidopsis / physiology
  • Arabidopsis Proteins / genetics
  • Arabidopsis Proteins / physiology*
  • Carbohydrates / physiology*
  • Codon, Nonsense
  • DNA Mutational Analysis
  • DNA, Complementary
  • Gene Expression
  • Gene Expression Profiling
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Plant
  • Genetic Complementation Test
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Mutation, Missense
  • Phenotype
  • RNA Helicases / genetics
  • RNA Helicases / physiology*
  • RNA, Messenger / metabolism*
  • Signal Transduction
  • Transcription Factor TFIIIA / metabolism
  • beta-Amylase / metabolism


  • Arabidopsis Proteins
  • Carbohydrates
  • Codon, Nonsense
  • DNA, Complementary
  • RNA, Messenger
  • Transcription Factor TFIIIA
  • UPF1 protein, Arabidopsis
  • beta-Amylase
  • RNA Helicases