Editors' ChoicePlant biology

Cleave and Leave

Science Signaling  23 Oct 2012:
Vol. 5, Issue 247, pp. ec273
DOI: 10.1126/scisignal.2003710

Plants produce ethylene gas, which acts as a hormone and is essential for the ripening of fruit, the resistance of plants to pathogens, the adaptation of plants to stress conditions, and stem cell maintenance. Although many components of the ethylene gas signaling pathway have been well studied, little is known about how the ethylene receptors located in the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) membrane can transmit the signal to the nucleus. Studying Arabidopsis, Qiao et al. found that perception of ethylene gas in the ER promotes signal transduction via cleavage and rapid ER-nucleus translocation of the cytosolic portion of the transmembrane ETHYLENE INSENSITIVE2 protein, which activates ethylene-dependent gene expression and other ethylene response phenotypes in plants.

H. Qiao, Z. Shen, S.-s. C. Huang, R. J. Schmitz, M. A. Urich, S. P. Briggs, J. R. Ecker, Processing and subcellular trafficking of ER-tethered EIN2 control response to ethylene gas. Science 338, 390–393 (2012). [Abstract] [Full Text]