Editors' ChoicePlant biology

(A)GO for gene expression

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Sci. Signal.  13 Feb 2018:
Vol. 11, Issue 517, eaat2329
DOI: 10.1126/scisignal.aat2329

AGO1 promotes, rather than represses, gene expression in response to hormones and stress signaling in plants by binding chromatin.

As effectors of RNA-induced silencing complexes, AGO proteins repress gene expression at the transcriptional and posttranscriptional levels in the nucleus and cytoplasm, respectively. Now, Liu et al. show that AGO1 positively regulates gene expression in Arabidopsis (see also Castillo-González and Zhang). The plant hormone jasmonate induced the binding of AGO1 to chromatin and enhanced jasmonate-responsive gene expression and behavior (root growth inhibition) in the plants. In response to jasmonate and various other environmental stimuli (hormones, chemicals, bacterial flagellin protein, and cold stress), AGO1 was recruited to chromatin at stimuli-responsive genes by small RNAs and various nucleosome-remodeling SWI/SNF complexes. AGO1 then promoted gene transcription by recruiting RNA polymerase II. The findings reveal a positive transcriptional regulation role for AGO1 in plants.

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