The Exoribonuclease XRN4 Is a Component of the Ethylene Response Pathway in Arabidopsis

Document Type


Publication Date



EXORIBONUCLEASE4 (XRN4), the Arabidopsis thaliana homolog of yeast XRN1, is involved in the degradation of several unstable mRNAs. Although a role for XRN4 in RNA silencing of certain transgenes has been reported, xrn4 mutant plants were found to lack any apparent visible phenotype. Here, we show that XRN4 is allelic to the unidentified components of the ethylene response pathway ETHYLENE-INSENSITIVE5/ACC-INSENSITIVE1 (EIN5/AIN1) and EIN7. xrn4 mutant seedlings are ethylene-insensitive as a consequence of the upregulation of EIN3 BINDING F-BOX PROTEIN1 (EBF1) and EBF2 mRNA levels, which encode related F-box proteins involved in the turnover of EIN3 protein, a crucial transcriptional regulator of the ethylene response pathway. Epistasis analysis placed XRN4/EIN5/AIN1 downstream of CTR1 and upstream of EBF1/2. XRN4 does not appear to regulate ethylene signaling via an RNA-INDUCED SILENCING COMPLEX–based RNA silencing mechanism but acts by independent means. The identification of XRN4 as an integral new component in ethylene signaling adds RNA degradation as another posttranscriptional process that modulates the perception of this plant hormone.

Files over 3MB may be slow to open. For best results, right-click and select "save as..."