The DELLA motif is essential for gibberellin-induced degradation of RGA.
RGA and GAI are homologous genes that encode putative transcriptional regulators that repress gibberellin (GA) signaling in Arabidopsis. Previously we showed that the green fluorescent protein (GFP)-RGA fusion protein is localized to the nucleus in transgenic Arabidopsis, and expression of this fusion protein rescues the rga null mutation. The GA signal seems to derepress the GA response pathway by degrading the repressor protein RGA. The GA-insensitive, semidominant, semidwarf gai-1 mutant encodes a mutant protein with a 17-amino acid deletion within the DELLA domain of GAI. It was hypothesized that this mutation turns the gai protein into a constitutive repressor of GA signaling. Because the sequences missing in gai-1 are identical between GAI and RGA, we tested whether an identical mutation (rga-Delta 17) in the RGA gene would confer a phenotype similar to gai-1. We demonstrated that expression of rga-Delta 17 or GFP-(rga-Delta 17) under the control of the RGA promoter caused a GA-unresponsive severe dwarf phenotype in transgenic Arabidopsis. Analysis of the mRNA levels of a GA biosynthetic gene, GA4, showed that the feedback control of GA biosynthesis in these transgenic plants was less responsive to GA than that in wild type. Immunoblot and confocal microscopy analyses indicated that rga-Delta17 and GFP-(rga-Delta 17) proteins were resistant to degradation after GA application. Our results illustrate that the DELLA domain in RGA plays a regulatory role in GA-induced degradation of RGA. Deletion of this region stabilizes the rga-Delta 17 mutant protein, and regardless of the endogenous GA status rga-Delta 17 becomes a constitutively active repressor of GA signaling.
Dill, A; Jung, HS; Sun, TP
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