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Free Content Wall-modifying genes regulated by the Arabidopsis homolog of trithorax, ATX1: repression of the XTH33 gene as a test case

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The plant cell wall is a dynamic structure playing important roles in the control of plant cell growth and differentiation. These processes involve global reprogramming of the genome driven by dynamic changes in chromatin structure. The chromatin modifier ARABIDOPSIS HOMOLOG OF TRITHORAX (ATX1) methylates lysine residue 4 on histone H3 (H3K4me), acting as an epigenetic mark on associated genes. The remarkable overrepresentation in the ATX1-regulated gene fraction of genes encoding plasma membrane and cell wall-remodeling activities suggested a link between two separate factors affecting growth, development and adaptation in Arabidopsis: the wall-modifying activities regulating cell extension, growth and fate, and the epigenetic mechanisms regulating chromatin structure and gene expression. A co-regulated fraction of specific wall-modifying proteins suggests that they may function together. Here, we study the ATX1-dependent expression of the gene encoding the wall-loosening factor XTH33 as a test case for development- and tissue-specific effects displayed by the chromatin modifier. In addition, we show that XTH33 is, most likely, an integral plasma membrane protein. A putative transmembrane domain is conserved in some, but not all, XTH family members, suggesting that they may be differently positioned when functioning as wall modifiers.
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Keywords: ATX1; XTH33; cell wall activities; epigenetic regulation; xyloglucan endotransglycolysation/endohydrolysis

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: School of Biological Sciences, UNL Lincoln, NE 68588-0118, USA

Publication date: May 1, 2009

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