CONSTITUTIVE PHOTOMORPHOGENIC1 (COP1) functions as an E3 ubiquitin ligase in both plants and animals. In dark-grown Arabidopsis thaliana seedlings, COP1 targets photomorphogenesis-promoting factors for degradation to repress photomorphogenesis. Little is known, however, about how COP1 itself is regulated. Here, we identify COP1 SUPPRESSOR1 (CSU1), a RING-finger E3 ubiquitin ligase, as a regulator of COP1. Genetic evidence demonstrates that csu1 mutations suppress cop1-6 phenotypes completely in the dark. Furthermore, CSU1 colocalizes with COP1 in nuclear speckles and negatively regulates COP1 protein accumulation in darkness. CSU1 can ubiquitinate COP1 in vitro and is essential for COP1 ubiquitination in vivo. Therefore, we conclude that CSU1 plays a major role in maintaining COP1 homeostasis by targeting COP1 for ubiquitination and degradation in dark-grown seedlings.
© 2014 American Society of Plant Biologists. All rights reserved.