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A general G1/S-phase cell-cycle control module in the flowering plant Arabidopsis thaliana.

  • Zhao, Xin'Ai1
  • Harashima, Hirofumi
  • Dissmeyer, Nico
  • Pusch, Stefan
  • Weimer, Annika K
  • Bramsiepe, Jonathan
  • Bouyer, Daniel
  • Rademacher, Svenja
  • Nowack, Moritz K
  • Novak, Bela
  • Sprunck, Stefanie
  • Schnittger, Arp
  • 1 Department of Molecular Mechanisms of Phenotypic Plasticity, Institut de Biologie Moléculaire des Plantes, Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, Université de Strasbourg, Strasbourg, France. , (France)
Published Article
PLoS Genetics
Public Library of Science
Publication Date
Jan 01, 2012
DOI: 10.1371/journal.pgen.1002847
PMID: 22879821


The decision to replicate its DNA is of crucial importance for every cell and, in many organisms, is decisive for the progression through the entire cell cycle. A comparison of animals versus yeast has shown that, although most of the involved cell-cycle regulators are divergent in both clades, they fulfill a similar role and the overall network topology of G1/S regulation is highly conserved. Using germline development as a model system, we identified a regulatory cascade controlling entry into S phase in the flowering plant Arabidopsis thaliana, which, as a member of the Plantae supergroup, is phylogenetically only distantly related to Opisthokonts such as yeast and animals. This module comprises the Arabidopsis homologs of the animal transcription factor E2F, the plant homolog of the animal transcriptional repressor Retinoblastoma (Rb)-related 1 (RBR1), the plant-specific F-box protein F-BOX-LIKE 17 (FBL17), the plant specific cyclin-dependent kinase (CDK) inhibitors KRPs, as well as CDKA;1, the plant homolog of the yeast and animal Cdc2⁺/Cdk1 kinases. Our data show that the principle of a double negative wiring of Rb proteins is highly conserved, likely representing a universal mechanism in eukaryotic cell-cycle control. However, this negative feedback of Rb proteins is differently implemented in plants as it is brought about through a quadruple negative regulation centered around the F-box protein FBL17 that mediates the degradation of CDK inhibitors but is itself directly repressed by Rb. Biomathematical simulations and subsequent experimental confirmation of computational predictions revealed that this regulatory circuit can give rise to hysteresis highlighting the here identified dosage sensitivity of CDK inhibitors in this network.

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