Arabidopsis protein phosphatase 2C ABI1 interacts with type I ACC synthases and is involved in the regulation of ozone-induced ethylene biosynthesis

Mol Plant. 2014 Jun;7(6):960-976. doi: 10.1093/mp/ssu025. Epub 2014 Mar 17.


Ethylene plays a crucial role in various biological processes and therefore its biosynthesis is strictly regulated by multiple mechanisms. Posttranslational regulation, which is pivotal in controlling ethylene biosynthesis, impacts 1-aminocyclopropane 1-carboxylate synthase (ACS) protein stability via the complex interplay of specific factors. Here, we show that the Arabidopsis thaliana protein phosphatase type 2C, ABI1, a negative regulator of abscisic acid signaling, is involved in the regulation of ethylene biosynthesis under oxidative stress conditions. We found that ABI1 interacts with ACS6 and dephosphorylates its C-terminal fragment, a target of the stress-responsive mitogen-activated protein kinase, MPK6. In addition, ABI1 controls MPK6 activity directly and by this means also affects the ACS6 phosphorylation level. Consistently with this, ozone-induced ethylene production was significantly higher in an ABI1 knockout strain (abi1td) than in wild-type plants. Importantly, an increase in stress-induced ethylene production in the abi1td mutant was compensated by a higher ascorbate redox state and elevated antioxidant activities. Overall, the results of this study provide evidence that ABI1 restricts ethylene synthesis by affecting the activity of ACS6. The ABI1 contribution to stress phenotype underpins its role in the interplay between the abscisic acid (ABA) and ethylene signaling pathways.

Keywords: Arabidopsis.; hormonal regulation; protein phosphorylation/dephosphorylation; signal transduction.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Arabidopsis
  • Arabidopsis Proteins / metabolism*
  • Ethylenes / biosynthesis*
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Plant / drug effects
  • Lyases / metabolism*
  • Ozone*
  • Phosphoprotein Phosphatases / metabolism*
  • Protein Binding
  • Protein Phosphatase 2C
  • Signal Transduction / drug effects


  • Arabidopsis Proteins
  • Ethylenes
  • Ozone
  • ethylene
  • Phosphoprotein Phosphatases
  • Protein Phosphatase 2C
  • Lyases
  • 1-aminocyclopropanecarboxylate synthase