Arabidopsis ASYMMETRIC LEAVES2 protein required for leaf morphogenesis consistently forms speckles during mitosis of tobacco BY-2 cells via signals in its specific sequence

J Plant Res. 2012 Sep;125(5):661-8. doi: 10.1007/s10265-012-0479-5. Epub 2012 Feb 17.


Leaf primordia with high division and developmental competencies are generated around the periphery of stem cells at the shoot apex. Arabidopsis ASYMMETRIC-LEAVES2 (AS2) protein plays a key role in the regulation of many genes responsible for flat symmetric leaf formation. The AS2 gene, expressed in leaf primordia, encodes a plant-specific nuclear protein containing an AS2/LOB domain with cysteine repeats (C-motif). AS2 proteins are present in speckles in and around the nucleoli, and in the nucleoplasm of some leaf epidermal cells. We used the tobacco cultured cell line BY-2 expressing the AS2-fused yellow fluorescent protein to examine subnuclear localization of AS2 in dividing cells. AS2 mainly localized to speckles (designated AS2 bodies) in cells undergoing mitosis and distributed in a pairwise manner during the separation of sets of daughter chromosomes. Few interphase cells contained AS2 bodies. Deletion analyses showed that a short stretch of the AS2 amino-terminal sequence and the C-motif play negative and positive roles, respectively, in localizing AS2 to the bodies. These results suggest that AS2 bodies function to properly distribute AS2 to daughter cells during cell division in leaf primordia; and this process is controlled at least partially by signals encoded by the AS2 sequence itself.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Arabidopsis Proteins / genetics
  • Arabidopsis Proteins / metabolism*
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Plant
  • Genes, Plant
  • Mitosis
  • Morphogenesis / genetics*
  • Phenotype
  • Plant Leaves / genetics
  • Plant Leaves / growth & development*
  • Plant Leaves / metabolism
  • Plants, Genetically Modified
  • Tobacco / cytology*
  • Tobacco / genetics
  • Tobacco / metabolism*
  • Transcription Factors / genetics
  • Transcription Factors / metabolism*


  • AS2 protein, Arabidopsis
  • Arabidopsis Proteins
  • Transcription Factors