The SLIM1 transcription factor is required for arsenic resistance in Arabidopsis thaliana

FEBS Lett. 2021 Jun;595(12):1696-1707. doi: 10.1002/1873-3468.14096. Epub 2021 May 19.


The transcriptional regulators of arsenic-induced gene expression remain largely unknown. Sulfur assimilation is tightly linked with arsenic detoxification. Here, we report that mutant alleles in the SLIM1 transcription factor are substantially more sensitive to arsenic than cadmium. Arsenic treatment caused high levels of oxidative stress in the slim1 mutants, and slim1 alleles were impaired in both thiol accumulation and sulfate accumulation. We further found enhanced arsenic accumulation in roots of slim1 mutants. Transcriptome analyses indicate an important role for SLIM1 in arsenic-induced tolerance mechanisms. The present study identifies the SLIM1 transcription factor as an essential component in arsenic tolerance and arsenic-induced gene expression. Our results suggest that the severe arsenic sensitivity of the slim1 mutants is caused by altered redox status.

Keywords: Arabidopsis thaliana; arsenic; sulfur limitation; transcription factor.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Arabidopsis Proteins* / genetics
  • Arabidopsis Proteins* / metabolism
  • Arabidopsis* / genetics
  • Arabidopsis* / metabolism
  • Arsenic* / metabolism
  • Arsenic* / pharmacology
  • DNA-Binding Proteins* / genetics
  • DNA-Binding Proteins* / metabolism
  • Drug Resistance*
  • Oxidative Stress / drug effects*
  • Plant Roots* / genetics
  • Plant Roots* / metabolism
  • Transcription Factors* / genetics
  • Transcription Factors* / metabolism


  • Arabidopsis Proteins
  • DNA-Binding Proteins
  • EIL3 protein, Arabidopsis
  • Transcription Factors
  • Arsenic