New paper – polyadenylation and regulation of gene expression

I’m not sure how often I will do this, but I thought I would point out a paper I have co-authored with scientists at the University of Massachusetts Lowell and Miami University in Oxford OH. The brief bottom line is that a plant polyadenylation factor subunit may be involved in regulating gene expression in response to oxidative stress.

This is my first foray into PLoS One, and I’m interested in seeing how one may generate feedback and discussion. The abstract follows. Enjoy.

Background

Plants respond to many unfavorable environmental conditions via signaling mediated by altered levels of various reactive oxygen species (ROS). To gain additional insight into oxidative signaling responses, Arabidopsis mutants that exhibited tolerance to oxidative stress were isolated. We describe herein the isolation and characterization of one such mutant, oxt6.

Methodology/Principal Findings

The oxt6 mutation is due to the disruption of a complex gene (At1g30460) that encodes the Arabidopsis ortholog of the 30-kD subunit of the cleavage and polyadenylation specificity factor (CPSF30) as well as a larger, related 65-kD protein. Expression of mRNAs encoding Arabidopsis CPSF30 alone was able to restore wild-type growth and stress susceptibility to the oxt6 mutant. Transcriptional profiling and single gene expression studies show elevated constitutive expression of a subset of genes that encode proteins containing thioredoxin- and glutaredoxin- related domains in the oxt6 mutant, suggesting that stress can be ameliorated by these gene classes. Bulk poly(A) tail length was not seemingly affected in the oxt6 mutant, but poly(A) site selection was different, indicating a subtle effect on polyadenylation in the mutant.

Conclusions/Significance

These results implicate the Arabidopsis CPSF30 protein in the posttranscriptional control of the responses of plants to stress, and in particular to the expression of a set of genes that suffices to confer tolerance to oxidative stress.

Feel free to comment here, or at the PLoS One site.

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