Tap42/α4 is a regulatory subunit of the protein phosphatase 2A (PP2A) family of phosphatases and plays a role in the target of rapamycin (TOR) pathway that regulates cell growth, ribosome biogenesis, translation and cell cycle progression in both yeast and mammals. We determined the cellular functions of Tap46, the plant homolog of Tap42/ α4, in both Arabidopsis thaliana and Nicotiana benthamiana. Tap46 associated with the catalytic subunits of PP2A and the PP2A-like phosphatases PP4 and PP6 in vivo. Tap46 was phosphorylated by TOR in vitro, indicating that Tap46 is a direct substrate of TOR kinase. Tap46 deficiency caused cellular phenotypes that are similar to TOR-depletion phenotypes, including repression of global translation and activation of both autophagy and nitrogen recycling. Furthermore, Tap46 depletion regulated total PP2A activity in a timedependent manner similar to TOR deficiency. These results suggest that Tap46 acts as a positive effector of the TOR signaling pathway in controlling diverse metabolic processes in plants. However, Tap46 silencing caused acute cell death, while TOR silencing only hastened senescence. Furthermore, mitotic cells with reduced Tap46 levels exhibited chromatin bridges at anaphase, while TOR depletion did not cause a similar defect. These findings suggest that Tap46 may have TOR-independent functions as well as functions related to TOR signaling in plants.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Plant Science