Asymmetric gibberellin signaling regulates vacuolar trafficking of PIN auxin transporters during root gravitropism

Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2013 Feb 26;110(9):3627-32. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1300107110. Epub 2013 Feb 7.


Gravitropic bending of plant organs is mediated by an asymmetric signaling of the plant hormone auxin between the upper and lower side of the respective organ. Here, we show that also another plant hormone, gibberellic acid (GA), shows asymmetric action during gravitropic responses. Immunodetection using an antibody against GA and monitoring GA signaling output by downstream degradation of DELLA proteins revealed an asymmetric GA distribution and response with the maximum at the lower side of gravistimulated roots. Genetic or pharmacological manipulation of GA levels or response affects gravity-mediated auxin redistribution and root bending response. The higher GA levels at the lower side of the root correlate with increased amounts of PIN-FORMED2 (PIN2) auxin transporter at the plasma membrane. The observed increase in PIN2 stability is caused by a specific GA effect on trafficking of PIN proteins to lytic vacuoles that presumably occurs downstream of brefeldin A-sensitive endosomes. Our results suggest that asymmetric auxin distribution instructive for gravity-induced differential growth is consolidated by the asymmetric action of GA that stabilizes the PIN-dependent auxin stream along the lower side of gravistimulated roots.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Arabidopsis / drug effects
  • Arabidopsis / physiology*
  • Arabidopsis Proteins / metabolism*
  • Brefeldin A / pharmacology
  • Endosomes / drug effects
  • Endosomes / metabolism
  • Gibberellins / metabolism*
  • Gibberellins / pharmacology
  • Gravitation
  • Gravitropism / drug effects*
  • Indoleacetic Acids / metabolism*
  • Plant Roots / drug effects
  • Plant Roots / physiology*
  • Protein Stability / drug effects
  • Protein Transport / drug effects
  • Signal Transduction / drug effects
  • Vacuoles / drug effects
  • Vacuoles / metabolism*


  • Arabidopsis Proteins
  • Gibberellins
  • Indoleacetic Acids
  • Brefeldin A