3 years ago

CYCLING DOF FACTOR 1 represses transcription through the TOPLESS co-repressor to control photoperiodic flowering in Arabidopsis

Paul M. Panipinto, Yashkarn S. Bains, Tong-Kun Liu, Takato Imaizumi, Lin Zhao, Greg S. Goralogia, Evan D. Groover
CYCLING DOF FACTOR 1 (CDF1) and its homologs play an important role in the floral transition by repressing the expression of floral activator genes such as CONSTANS (CO) and FLOWERING LOCUS T (FT) in Arabidopsis. The day-length-specific removal of CDF1-dependent repression is a critical mechanism in photoperiodic flowering. However, the mechanism by which CDF1 represses CO and FT transcription remained elusive. Here we demonstrate that Arabidopsis CDF proteins contain non-EAR motif-like conserved domains required for interaction with the TOPLESS (TPL) co-repressor protein. This TPL interaction confers a repressive function on CDF1, as mutations of the N-terminal TPL binding domain largely impair the ability of CDF1 protein to repress its targets. TPL proteins are present on specific regions of the CO and FT promoters where CDF1 binds during the morning. In addition, TPL binding increases when CDF1 expression is elevated, suggesting that TPL is recruited to these promoters in a time-dependent fashion by CDFs. Moreover, reduction of TPL activity induced by expressing a dominant negative version of TPL (tpl-1) in phloem companion cells results in early flowering and a decreased sensitivity to photoperiod in a manner similar to a cdf loss-of-function mutant. Our results indicate that the mechanism of CDF1 repression is through the formation of a CDF–TPL transcriptional complex, which reduces the expression levels of CO and FT during the morning for seasonal flowering.

Publisher URL: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/resolve/doi

DOI: 10.1111/tpj.13649

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