Background: Plants respond to abiotic stress on physiological, biochemical and molecular levels. This includes a global change in their cellular proteome achieved by changes in the pattern of their protein synthesis and degradation. The ubiquitin-proteasome system (UPS) is a key player in protein degradation in eukaryotes. Proteins are marked for degradation by the proteasome by coupling short chains of ubiquitin polypeptides in a three-step pathway. The last and regulatory stage is catalyzed by a member of a large family of substrate-specific ubiquitin ligases. Results: We have identified AtPUB46 and AtPUB48-two paralogous genes that encode ubiquitin ligases (E3s)-to have a role in the plant environmental response. The AtPUB46, -47, and -48 appear as tandem gene copies on chromosome 5, and we present a phylogenetic analysis that traces their evolution from an ancestral PUB-ARM gene. Single homozygous T-DNA insertion mutants of AtPUB46 and AtPUB48 displayed hypersensitivity to water stress; this was not observed for similar mutants of AtPUB47. Although the three genes show a similar spatial expression pattern, the steady state levels of their transcripts are differentially affected by abiotic stresses and plant hormones. Conclusions:AtPUB46 and AtPUB48 encode plant U-Box E3s and are involved in the response to water stress. Our data suggest that despite encoding highly homologous proteins, AtPUB46 and AtPUB48 biological activity does not fully overlap.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Plant Science