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The URL1–ROC5–TPL2 transcriptional repressor complex represses the ACL1 gene to modulate leaf rolling in rice

  Jingjing Fang, Tingting Guo, Zhiwei Xie, Yan Chun, Jinfeng Zhao, Lixiang Peng, Syed Adeel Zafar, Shoujiang Yuan, Langtao Xiao, Xueyong Li

  Plant Physiology, kiaa121,   IF: 6.902

  Published: 13 January 2021




  Moderate leaf rolling is beneficial for leaf erectness and compact plant architecture. However, our understanding regarding the molecular mechanisms of leaf rolling is still limited. Here, we characterized a semi-dominant rice (Oryza sativa L.) mutant upward rolled leaf 1 (Url1) showing adaxially rolled leaves due to a decrease in the number and size of bulliform cells. Map-based cloning revealed that URL1 encodes the homeodomain-leucine zipper (HD-Zip) IV family member RICE OUTERMOST CELL-SPECIFIC 8 (ROC8). A single-base substitution in one of the two conserved complementary motifs unique to the 3′-untranslated region of this family enhanced URL1 mRNA stability and abundance in the Url1 mutant. URL1 (UPWARD ROLLED LEAF1) contains an ethylene-responsive element binding factor-associated amphiphilic repression motif and functions as a transcriptional repressor via interaction with the TOPLESS co-repressor OsTPL2. Rather than homodimerizing, URL1 heterodimerizes with another HD-ZIP IV member ROC5. URL1 could bind directly to the promoter and suppress the expression of abaxially curled leaf 1 (ACL1), a positive regulator of bulliform cell development. Knockout of OsTPL2 or ROC5 or overexpression of ACL1 in the Url1 mutant partially suppressed the leaf-rolling phenotype. Our results reveal a regulatory network whereby a transcriptional repression complex composed of URL1, ROC5, and the transcriptional corepressor TPL2 suppresses the expression of the ACL1 gene, thus modulating bulliform cell development and leaf rolling in rice.