Cesium toxicity alters microRNA processing and AGO1 expressions in Arabidopsis thaliana

Il Lae Jung, Moonyoung Ryu, Seok Keun Cho, Pratik Shah, Ju Hye Lee, Hansol Bae, In Gyu Kim, Seong Wook Yang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Citations (Scopus)


MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are short RNA fragments that play important roles in controlled gene silencing, thus regulating many biological processes in plants. Recent studies have indicated that plants modulate miRNAs to sustain their survival in response to a variety of environmental stimuli, such as biotic stresses, cold, drought, nutritional starvation, and toxic heavy metals. Cesium and radio-cesium contaminations have arisen as serious problems that both impede plant growth and enter the food chain through contaminated plants. Many studies have been performed to define plant responses against cesium intoxication. However, the complete profile of miRNAs in plants during cesium intoxication has not been established. Here we show the differential expression of the miRNAs that are mostly down-regulated during cesium intoxication. Furthermore, we found that cesium toxicity disrupts both the processing of pri-miRNAs and AGONOUTE 1 (AGO1)-mediated gene silencing. AGO 1 seems to be especially destabilized by cesium toxicity, possibly through a proteolytic regulatory pathway. Our study presents a comprehensive profile of cesium-responsive miRNAs, which is distinct from that of potassium, and suggests two possible mechanisms underlying the cesium toxicity on miRNA metabolism.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0125514
JournalPloS one
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2015 May 6

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015 Jung et al.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General


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