E3 ubiquitin ligases select specific proteins for ubiquitin conjugation, and the modified proteins are commonly degraded through the 26S proteasome. XBAT32 is a RING-type E3 ligase involved in maintaining appropriate levels of ethylene. Previous work has suggested that XBAT32 modulates ethylene production by ubiquitinating two ethylene biosynthesis enzymes, ACS4 (type-II isoform) and ACS7 (type-III isoform). In Arabidopsis, conserved sequences within the C-terminal tail of type-I and -II 1-aminocyclopropane-1-carboxylate (ACC) synthase (ACS) isoforms influence ubiquitin-dependent proteolysis. ACS7, the sole Arabidopsis type-III ACS, contains a truncated C-terminal tail that lacks all known regulatory sequences, which suggests that this isoform may not be subject to ubiquitin-mediated proteasomal degradation. Here we demonstrate in planta that ACS7 is turned over in a 26S proteasome-dependent manner and that degradation of ACS7 requires the E3 ligase XBAT32. Furthermore, the ethylene-related phenotypes that result from overexpression of ACS7 in wild-type plants are greatly exaggerated in xbat32-1, suggesting that XBAT32 is required to attenuate the effect of overexpression of ACS7. This observation is consistent with a role for XBAT32 in the ubiquitin-mediated degradation of ACS7. The dark-grown phenotype of xbat32-1 seedlings overexpressing ACS7 can be effectively rescued by aminoethoxyvinylglycine, an inhibitor of ACS activity. The degradation rate of ACS4 is also significantly slower in the absence of XBAT32, further implicating XBAT32 in the ubiquitin-mediated degradation of ACS4. Altogether, these results demonstrate that XBAT32 targets ethylene biosynthetic enzymes for proteasomal degradation to maintain appropriate levels of hormone production.
© 2012 The Authors. The Plant Journal © 2012 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.