COP1 E3 ligase protects HYL1 to retain microrna biogenesis

Seok Keun Cho, Samir Ben Chaabane, Pratik Shah, Christian Peter Poulsen, Seong Wook Yang

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83 Citations (Scopus)


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.

Original languageEnglish
Article number5867
JournalNature communications
Publication statusPublished - 2014

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by the Center for Synthetic Biology, funded by the UNIK research initiative of the Danish Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation (Grant 09-065274). We appreciate Thomas Günther-Pomorski for the use of fluorimeter, which is supported by Carlsbergfondet. We thank Rebecca Louise Neale and Brian Christopher King for the proof-reading of the manuscript.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2014 Macmillan Publishers Limited. All rights reserved.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General
  • Physics and Astronomy(all)
  • Chemistry(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)


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