The positive regulatory roles of the TIFY10 proteins in plant responses to alkaline stress

PLoS One. 2014 Nov 6;9(11):e111984. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0111984. eCollection 2014.


The TIFY family is a novel plant-specific protein family, and is characterized by a conserved TIFY motif (TIFF/YXG). Our previous studies indicated the potential roles of TIFY10/11 proteins in plant responses to alkaline stress. In the current study, we focused on the regulatory roles and possible physiological and molecular basis of the TIFY10 proteins in plant responses to alkaline stress. We demonstrated the positive function of TIFY10s in alkaline responses by using the AtTIFY10a and AtTIFY10b knockout Arabidopsis, as evidenced by the relatively lower germination rates of attify10a and attify10b mutant seeds under alkaline stress. We also revealed that ectopic expression of GsTIFY10a in Medicago sativa promoted plant growth, and increased the NADP-ME activity, citric acid content and free proline content but decreased the MDA content of transgenic plants under alkaline stress. Furthermore, expression levels of the stress responsive genes including NADP-ME, CS, H+-ppase and P5CS were also up-regulated in GsTIFY10a transgenic plants under alkaline stress. Interestingly, GsTIFY10a overexpression increased the jasmonate content of the transgenic alfalfa. In addition, we showed that neither GsTIFY10a nor GsTIFY10e exhibited transcriptional activity in yeast cells. However, through Y2H and BiFc assays, we demonstrated that GsTIFY10a, not GsTIFY10e, could form homodimers in yeast cells and in living plant cells. As expected, we also demonstrated that GsTIFY10a and GsTIFY10e could heterodimerize with each other in both yeast and plant cells. Taken together, our results provided direct evidence supporting the positive regulatory roles of the TIFY10 proteins in plant responses to alkaline stress.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Arabidopsis / genetics
  • Arabidopsis / physiology*
  • Evolution, Molecular
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Plant
  • Gene Knockout Techniques
  • Medicago sativa / genetics
  • Medicago sativa / physiology*
  • Phylogeny
  • Plant Proteins / genetics
  • Plant Proteins / metabolism*
  • Stress, Physiological
  • Transcription, Genetic


  • Plant Proteins

Grant support

This work was supported by Heilongjiang Provincial Higher School Science and Technology Innovation Team Building Program (grant no. 2011TD005 to YMZ), National Natural Science Foundation of China (grant no. 31171578 to YMZ), National Major Project for Cultivation of Transgenic Crops (grant no. 2011ZX08004-002 to YMZ). The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.