Constitutive photomorphogenic 1 (COP1) is a RING-finger E3 ligase that plays a central role in photomorphogenesis by destabilizing many light-regulated transcription factors and photoreceptors. Here, we reveal a novel function for COP1 E3 ligase in controlling global miRNA biogenesis in Arabidopsis thaliana. In cop1 mutants, the level of miRNAs is dramatically reduced because of the diminution of HYPONASTIC LEAVES 1(HYL1), an RNA-binding protein required for precise miRNA processing. HYL1 is destabilized by an unidentified protease, which we tentatively call protease X, that specifically cleaves the N-terminal region from HYL1, thus neutralizing its function. Our results further show that the cytoplasmic partitioning of COP1 under light is essential to protect HYL1 against protease X. Taken together, we suggest a novel regulatory network involving HYL1, protease X, COP1 and light signalling that is indispensable for miRNA biogenesis in Arabidopsis thaliana.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Physics and Astronomy(all)