A genetic link between epigenetic repressor AS1-AS2 and a putative small subunit processome in leaf polarity establishment of Arabidopsis

Biol Open. 2016 Jul 15;5(7):942-54. doi: 10.1242/bio.019109.


Although the DEAD-box RNA helicase family is ubiquitous in eukaryotes, its developmental role remains unelucidated. Here, we report that cooperative action between the Arabidopsis nucleolar protein RH10, an ortholog of human DEAD-box RNA helicase DDX47, and the epigenetic repressor complex of ASYMMETRIC-LEAVES1 (AS1) and AS2 (AS1-AS2) is critical to repress abaxial (ventral) genes ETT/ARF3 and ARF4, which leads to adaxial (dorsal) development in leaf primordia at shoot apices. Double mutations of rh10-1 and as2 (or as1) synergistically up-regulated the abaxial genes, which generated abaxialized filamentous leaves with loss of the adaxial domain. DDX47 is part of the small subunit processome (SSUP) that mediates rRNA biogenesis. In rh10-1 we found various defects in SSUP-related events, such as: accumulation of 35S/33S rRNA precursors; reduction in the 18S/25S ratio; and nucleolar hypertrophy. Double mutants of as2 with mutations of genes that encode other candidate SSUP-related components such as nucleolin and putative rRNA methyltransferase exhibited similar synergistic defects caused by up-regulation of ETT/ARF3 and ARF4 These results suggest a tight link between putative SSUP and AS1-AS2 in repression of the abaxial-determining genes for cell fate decisions for adaxial development.

Keywords: AS1-AS2; Arabidopsis thaliana; Epigenetic repression; Leaf polarity; Nucleolus factors; SSU processome.