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Accession IconSRP108535

Exploring the link between ER stress and autophagy in Arabidopsis

Organism Icon Arabidopsis thaliana
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Technology Badge IconIllumina HiSeq 2000

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Autophagy is a conserved process in eukaryotes that contributes to cell survival in response to stress. Previously, we found that ER stress induces autophagy in a manner dependent upon IRE1b, an ER membrane-associated factor involved in the splicing of bZIP60 mRNA. IRE1 is a dual protein kinase and ribonuclease, and here we studied the involvement of the protein kinase catalytic domain, nucleotide binding and RNase domains of IRE1b in activating autophagy. Autophagy was assessed by quantifying the numbers of autophagosomes in transgenic Arabidopsis seedlings bearing mutations in the various IRE1b domains. The results showed that nucleotide binding and RNase activity of IRE1b are required for ER stress-mediated autophagy. The RNase activity is involved in IRE1b's mRNA splicing function, but its principal splicing target, bZIP60, is not involved in IRE1b's activation of autophagy. We therefore considered other roles for IRE1b in the activation of autophagy. Clustering of ER localized IRE1b-YFP was observed when seedlings were subjected to ER stress, and so we investigated whether IRE1b clustering induced autophagy. However, the RNase knockout mutation in IRE1b still undergoes clustering, suggesting that IRE1b clustering does not induce autophagy. In response to ER stress, the RNase of IRE1 has been found to engage in another activity called Regulated Ire1-Dependent Decay of Messenger RNA (RIDD), which is the promiscuous degradation of other mRNA in response to ER stress. By analyzing the RNA-seq data, 12 RIDD target genes were picked up for testing their role in inhibiting autophagy, and glucosidase 21 and peroxidase 14 are proved to be degraded to support the induction of autophagy by ER stress. Overall design: We examined gene expression by RNA-seq in Arabidopsis wide-type and mutant ire1b and double mutant ire1a/ire1b treated with DMSO (as the control) or with 5µg/mL TM
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