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Durham University

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Publication details for Professor Ari Sadanandom

Srivastava, Moumita, Srivastava, Anjil K., Orosa-Puente, Beatriz, Campanaro, Alberto, Zhang, Cunjin & Sadanandom, Ari (2020). SUMO Conjugation to BZR1 Enables Brassinosteroid Signaling to Integrate Environmental Cues to Shape Plant Growth. Current Biology 30(8): 1410-1423.e3.

Author(s) from Durham


Brassinosteroids (BRs) play crucial roles in plant development, but little is known of mechanisms that integrate environmental cues into BR signaling. Conjugation to the small ubiquitin-like modifier (SUMO) is emerging as an important mechanism to transduce environmental cues into cellular signaling. In this study, we show that SUMOylation of BZR1, a key transcription factor of BR signaling, provides a conduit for environmental influence to modulate growth during stress. SUMOylation stabilizes BZR1 in the nucleus by inhibiting its interaction with BIN2 kinase. During salt stress, Arabidopsis plants arrest growth through deSUMOylation of BZR1 in the cytoplasm by promoting the accumulation of the BZR1 targeting SUMO protease, ULP1a. ULP1a mutants are salt tolerant and insensitive to the BR inhibitor, brassinazole. BR treatment stimulates ULP1a degradation, allowing SUMOylated BZR1 to accumulate and promote growth. This study uncovers a mechanism for integrating environmental cues into BR signaling to shape growth.