TAF15b, involved in the autonomous pathway for flowering, represses transcription of FLOWERING LOCUS C
TATA‐binding protein‐associated factors (TAFs) are general transcription factors within the transcription factor IID (TFIID) complex, which recognizes the core promoter of genes. In addition to their biochemical function, it is known that several TAFs are involved in the regulation of developmental processes. In this study, we found that TAF15b affects flowering time, especially through the autonomous pathway (AP) in Arabidopsis. The mutant taf15b shows late flowering compared with the wild type plant during both long and short days, and vernalization accelerates the flowering time of taf15b. In addition, taf15b shows strong upregulation of FLOWERING LOCUS C (FLC), a flowering repressor in Arabidopsis, and the flc taf15b double mutant completely offsets the late flowering of taf15b, indicating that TAF15b is a typical AP gene. The taf15b mutant also shows increased transcript levels of COOLAIR, an antisense transcript of FLC. Consistently, chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP) analyses showed that the TAF15b protein is enriched around both sense and antisense transcription start sites of the FLC locus. In addition, co‐immunoprecipitation showed that TAF15b interacts with RNA polymerase II (Pol II), while ChIP showed increased enrichment of the phosphorylated forms, both serine 2 (Ser2) and Ser5, of the C‐terminal domain of Pol II at the FLC locus, which is indicative of transcriptional elongation. Finally, taf15b showed higher enrichment of the active histone marker, H3K4me3, on FLC chromatin. Taken together, our results suggest that TAF15b affects flowering time through transcriptional repression of FLC in Arabidopsis.
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