Characterization of Brassica rapa RAP2.4-Related Proteins in Stress Response and as CUL3-Dependent E3 Ligase Substrates.


School of Biological Sciences, Washington State University, Pullman, WA 99164, USA. [Email]


The turnip Brassica rapa has important economic value and represents a good model system to study gene function in crop plants. ERF/AP2 transcription factors are a major group of proteins that are often involved in regulating stress-responses and developmental programs. Some ERF/AP2 proteins are targets of CULLIN3-based E3 ligases that use BTB/POZ-MATH proteins as substrate receptors. These receptors bind the transcription factor and facilitate their ubiquitylation and subsequent degradation via the 26S proteasome. Here, we show tissue and stress-dependent expression patterns for three Brassica rapa ERF/AP2 proteins that are closely related to Arabidopsis thaliana AtRAP2.4. Cloning of the Brassica genes showed that the corresponding proteins can assemble with a BPM protein and CULLIN3, and that they are instable in a 26S proteasome dependent manner. This work demonstrates the conserved nature of the ERF/AP2-CULLIN3-based E3 ligase interplay, and represents a first step to analyze their function in a commercially relevant crop plant.