JAZ8 lacks a canonical degron and has an EAR motif that mediates transcriptional repression of jasmonate responses in Arabidopsis

Plant Cell. 2012 Feb;24(2):536-50. doi: 10.1105/tpc.111.093005. Epub 2012 Feb 10.


The lipid-derived hormone jasmonoyl-L-Ile (JA-Ile) initiates large-scale changes in gene expression by stabilizing the interaction of JASMONATE ZIM domain (JAZ) repressors with the F-box protein CORONATINE INSENSITIVE1 (COI1), which results in JAZ degradation by the ubiquitin-proteasome pathway. Recent structural studies show that the JAZ1 degradation signal (degron) includes a short conserved LPIAR motif that seals JA-Ile in its binding pocket at the COI1-JAZ interface. Here, we show that Arabidopsis thaliana JAZ8 lacks this motif and thus is unable to associate strongly with COI1 in the presence of JA-Ile. As a consequence, JAZ8 is stabilized against jasmonate (JA)-mediated degradation and, when ectopically expressed in Arabidopsis, represses JA-regulated growth and defense responses. These findings indicate that sequence variation in a hypervariable region of the degron affects JAZ stability and JA-regulated physiological responses. We also show that JAZ8-mediated repression depends on an LxLxL-type EAR (for ERF-associated amphiphilic repression) motif at the JAZ8 N terminus that binds the corepressor TOPLESS and represses transcriptional activation. JAZ8-mediated repression does not require the ZIM domain, which, in other JAZ proteins, recruits TOPLESS through the EAR motif-containing adaptor protein NINJA. These findings show that EAR repression domains in a subgroup of JAZ proteins repress gene expression through direct recruitment of corepressors to cognate transcription factors.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Arabidopsis / genetics*
  • Arabidopsis / metabolism
  • Arabidopsis Proteins / genetics
  • Arabidopsis Proteins / metabolism*
  • Cyclopentanes / metabolism*
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Plant
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Mutagenesis, Site-Directed
  • Oxylipins / metabolism*
  • Plants, Genetically Modified / genetics
  • Plants, Genetically Modified / metabolism
  • Protein Interaction Domains and Motifs
  • Repressor Proteins / genetics
  • Repressor Proteins / metabolism*
  • Transcription, Genetic


  • Arabidopsis Proteins
  • COI1 protein, Arabidopsis
  • Cyclopentanes
  • Oxylipins
  • Repressor Proteins
  • topless protein, Arabidopsis
  • jasmonic acid