Elongator complex is critical for cell cycle progression and leaf patterning in Arabidopsis

Plant J. 2012 Mar;69(5):792-808. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-313X.2011.04831.x. Epub 2011 Nov 23.


The mitotic cell cycle in higher eukaryotes is of pivotal importance for organ growth and development. Here, we report that Elongator, an evolutionarily conserved histone acetyltransferase complex, acts as an important regulator of mitotic cell cycle to promote leaf patterning in Arabidopsis. Mutations in genes encoding Elongator subunits resulted in aberrant cell cycle progression, and the altered cell division affects leaf polarity formation. The defective cell cycle progression is caused by aberrant DNA replication and increased DNA damage, which activate the DNA replication checkpoint to arrest the cell cycle. Elongator interacts with proliferating cell nuclear antigen (PCNA) and is required for efficient histone 3 (H3) and H4 acetylation coupled with DNA replication. Levels of chromatin-bound H3K56Ac and H4K5Ac known to associate with replicons during DNA replication were reduced in the mutants of both Elongator and chromatin assembly factor 1 (CAF-1), another protein complex that physically interacts with PCNA for DNA replication-coupled chromatin assembly. Disruptions of CAF-1 also led to severe leaf polarity defects, which indicated that Elongator and CAF-1 act, at least partially, in the same pathway to promote cell cycle progression. Collectively, our results demonstrate that Elongator is an important regulator of mitotic cell cycle, and the Elongator pathway plays critical roles in promoting leaf polarity formation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Acetylation
  • Arabidopsis / enzymology
  • Arabidopsis / genetics*
  • Arabidopsis / growth & development
  • Arabidopsis Proteins / genetics
  • Arabidopsis Proteins / metabolism*
  • Cell Cycle*
  • Chromatin Assembly Factor-1 / metabolism
  • DNA Damage
  • DNA Replication
  • DNA, Plant / biosynthesis
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Plant
  • Histone Acetyltransferases / genetics
  • Histone Acetyltransferases / metabolism*
  • Histones / metabolism
  • Mutation
  • Plant Leaves / cytology
  • Plant Leaves / growth & development*
  • Proliferating Cell Nuclear Antigen / metabolism


  • Arabidopsis Proteins
  • Chromatin Assembly Factor-1
  • DNA, Plant
  • Histones
  • Proliferating Cell Nuclear Antigen
  • Histone Acetyltransferases