Transcriptional regulation of ROS controls transition from proliferation to differentiation in the root

Cell. 2010 Nov 12;143(4):606-16. doi: 10.1016/j.cell.2010.10.020.


The balance between cellular proliferation and differentiation is a key aspect of development in multicellular organisms. Using high-resolution expression data from the Arabidopsis root, we identified a transcription factor, UPBEAT1 (UPB1), that regulates this balance. Genomewide expression profiling coupled with ChIP-chip analysis revealed that UPB1 directly regulates the expression of a set of peroxidases that modulate the balance of reactive oxygen species (ROS) between the zones of cell proliferation and the zone of cell elongation where differentiation begins. Disruption of UPB1 activity alters this ROS balance, leading to a delay in the onset of differentiation. Modulation of either ROS balance or peroxidase activity through chemical reagents affects the onset of differentiation in a manner consistent with the postulated UPB1 function. This pathway functions independently of auxin and cytokinin plant hormonal signaling. Comparison to ROS-regulated growth control in animals suggests that a similar mechanism is used in plants and animals.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Arabidopsis / cytology*
  • Arabidopsis / genetics
  • Arabidopsis / metabolism*
  • Arabidopsis Proteins / metabolism*
  • Basic Helix-Loop-Helix Transcription Factors / metabolism*
  • Cell Differentiation
  • Cell Proliferation
  • Gene Expression Profiling
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Plant*
  • Plant Roots / cytology*
  • Plant Roots / genetics
  • Reactive Oxygen Species / metabolism*


  • Arabidopsis Proteins
  • Basic Helix-Loop-Helix Transcription Factors
  • Reactive Oxygen Species
  • UPBEAT1 protein, Arabidopsis

Associated data

  • GEO/GSE21741
  • GEO/GSE21876