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Science 323 (5917): 1053-1057

Copyright © 2009 by the American Association for the Advancement of Science

Trifurcate Feed-Forward Regulation of Age-Dependent Cell Death Involving miR164 in Arabidopsis

Jin Hee Kim,1* Hye Ryun Woo,1* Jeongsik Kim,1 Pyung Ok Lim,2 In Chul Lee,1 Seung Hee Choi,1 Daehee Hwang,3,4 Hong Gil Nam1,4{dagger}

Abstract: Aging induces gradual yet massive cell death in higher organisms, including annual plants. Even so, the underlying regulatory mechanisms are barely known, despite the long-standing interest in this topic. Here, we demonstrate that ORE1, which is a NAC (NAM, ATAF, and CUC) transcription factor, positively regulates aging-induced cell death in Arabidopsis leaves. ORE1 expression is up-regulated concurrently with leaf aging by EIN2 but is negatively regulated by miR164. miR164 expression gradually decreases with aging through negative regulation by EIN2, which leads to the elaborate up-regulation of ORE1 expression. However, EIN2 still contributes to aging-induced cell death in the absence of ORE1. The trifurcate feed-forward pathway involving ORE1, miR164, and EIN2 provides a highly robust regulation to ensure that aging induces cell death in Arabidopsis leaves.

1 Division of Molecular Life Sciences, Pohang University of Science and Technology, Hyoja-dong, Pohang, Kyungbuk, 790-784, Republic of Korea.
2 Department of Science Education, Jeju National University, Jeju, 690-756, Republic of Korea.
3 Department of Chemical Engineering, Pohang University of Science and Technology, Hyoja-dong, Pohang, Kyungbuk, 790-784, Republic of Korea.
4 School of Interdisciplinary Biosciences and Bioengineering, Pohang University of Science and Technology, Hyoja-dong, Pohang, Kyungbuk, 790-784, Republic of Korea.

* These authors contributed equally to this work.

{dagger} To whom correspondence should be addressed. E-mail: nam{at}

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