NINJA connects the co-repressor TOPLESS to jasmonate signalling

Nature. 2010 Apr 1;464(7289):788-91. doi: 10.1038/nature08854.


Jasmonoyl-isoleucine (JA-Ile) is a plant hormone that regulates a broad array of plant defence and developmental processes. JA-Ile-responsive gene expression is regulated by the transcriptional activator MYC2 that interacts physically with the jasmonate ZIM-domain (JAZ) repressor proteins. On perception of JA-Ile, JAZ proteins are degraded and JA-Ile-dependent gene expression is activated. The molecular mechanisms by which JAZ proteins repress gene expression remain unknown. Here we show that the Arabidopsis JAZ proteins recruit the Groucho/Tup1-type co-repressor TOPLESS (TPL) and TPL-related proteins (TPRs) through a previously uncharacterized adaptor protein, designated Novel Interactor of JAZ (NINJA). NINJA acts as a transcriptional repressor whose activity is mediated by a functional TPL-binding EAR repression motif. Accordingly, both NINJA and TPL proteins function as negative regulators of jasmonate responses. Our results point to TPL proteins as general co-repressors that affect multiple signalling pathways through the interaction with specific adaptor proteins. This new insight reveals how stress-related and growth-related signalling cascades use common molecular mechanisms to regulate gene expression in plants.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Arabidopsis / cytology
  • Arabidopsis / drug effects*
  • Arabidopsis / metabolism*
  • Arabidopsis Proteins / genetics
  • Arabidopsis Proteins / metabolism*
  • Cyclopentanes / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Cyclopentanes / pharmacology*
  • Gene Expression Profiling
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Plant
  • Models, Biological
  • Oxylipins / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Oxylipins / pharmacology*
  • Plants, Genetically Modified
  • Protein Binding
  • Repressor Proteins / genetics
  • Repressor Proteins / metabolism*
  • Signal Transduction / drug effects*
  • Two-Hybrid System Techniques


  • Arabidopsis Proteins
  • Cyclopentanes
  • NINJA protein, Arabidopsis
  • Oxylipins
  • Repressor Proteins
  • topless protein, Arabidopsis
  • jasmonic acid

Associated data

  • GEO/GSM484805
  • GEO/GSM484806
  • GEO/GSM484807
  • GEO/GSM484808
  • GEO/GSM484809
  • GEO/GSM484810
  • GEO/GSM484811
  • GEO/GSM484812