Epigenetic silencing of a multifunctional plant stress regulator

Elife. 2019 Aug 16;8:e47835. doi: 10.7554/eLife.47835.


The central regulator of the ethylene (ET) signaling pathway, which controls a plethora of developmental programs and responses to environmental cues in plants, is ETHYLENE-INSENSITIVE2 (EIN2). Here we identify a chromatin-dependent regulatory mechanism at EIN2 requiring two genes: ETHYLENE-INSENSITIVE6 (EIN6), which is a H3K27me3 demethylase also known as RELATIVE OF EARLY FLOWERING6 (REF6), and EIN6 ENHANCER (EEN), the Arabidopsis homolog of the yeast INO80 chromatin remodeling complex subunit IES6 (INO EIGHTY SUBUNIT). Strikingly, EIN6 (REF6) and the INO80 complex redundantly control the level and the localization of the repressive histone modification H3K27me3 and the histone variant H2A.Z at the 5' untranslated region (5'UTR) intron of EIN2. Concomitant loss of EIN6 (REF6) and the INO80 complex shifts the chromatin landscape at EIN2 to a repressive state causing a dramatic reduction of EIN2 expression. These results uncover a unique type of chromatin regulation which safeguards the expression of an essential multifunctional plant stress regulator.

Keywords: A. thaliana; chromatin remodeling; ethylene; genetics; genomics; histone demethylation; plant biology; plant epigenomics.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Arabidopsis / physiology*
  • Arabidopsis Proteins / biosynthesis*
  • Arabidopsis Proteins / metabolism*
  • Epigenesis, Genetic*
  • Ethylenes / metabolism
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Plant*
  • Nuclear Proteins / metabolism*
  • Receptors, Cell Surface / biosynthesis*
  • Signal Transduction
  • Transcription Factors / metabolism*


  • AT4G38495 protein, Arabidopsis
  • Arabidopsis Proteins
  • EIN2 protein, Arabidopsis
  • Ethylenes
  • Nuclear Proteins
  • REF6 protein, Arabidopsis
  • Receptors, Cell Surface
  • Transcription Factors
  • ethylene

Associated data

  • GEO/GSE122314