Two alternatively spliced isoforms of the Arabidopsis SR45 protein have distinct roles during normal plant development.

TitleTwo alternatively spliced isoforms of the Arabidopsis SR45 protein have distinct roles during normal plant development.
Publication TypeJournal Articles
Year of Publication2009
AuthorsZhang X-N, Mount SM
JournalPlant Physiol
Date Published2009 Jul
KeywordsAlternative Splicing, Amino Acid Sequence, Arabidopsis, Arabidopsis Proteins, Carrier Proteins, Flowers, Molecular Sequence Data, Mutation, Plant Roots, Protein Isoforms, Ribonucleoproteins, RNA-Binding Proteins, sequence alignment

The serine-arginine-rich (SR) proteins constitute a conserved family of pre-mRNA splicing factors. In Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana), they are encoded by 19 genes, most of which are themselves alternatively spliced. In the case of SR45, the use of alternative 3' splice sites 21 nucleotides apart generates two alternatively spliced isoforms. Isoform 1 (SR45.1) has an insertion relative to isoform 2 (SR45.2) that replaces a single arginine with eight amino acids (TSPQRKTG). The biological implications of SR45 alternative splicing have been unclear. A previously described loss-of-function mutant affecting both isoforms, sr45-1, shows several developmental defects, including defects in petal development and root growth. We found that the SR45 promoter is highly active in regions with actively growing and dividing cells. We also tested the ability of each SR45 isoform to complement the sr45-1 mutant by overexpression of isoform-specific green fluorescent protein (GFP) fusion proteins. As expected, transgenic plants overexpressing either isoform displayed both nuclear speckles and GFP fluorescence throughout the nucleoplasm. We found that SR45.1-GFP complements the flower petal phenotype, but not the root growth phenotype. Conversely, SR45.2-GFP complements root growth but not floral morphology. Mutation of a predicted phosphorylation site within the alternatively spliced segment, SR45.1-S219A-GFP, does not affect complementation. However, a double mutation affecting both serine-219 and the adjacent threonine-218 (SR45.1-T218A + S219A-GFP) behaves like isoform 2, complementing the root but not the floral phenotype. In conclusion, our study provides evidence that the two alternatively spliced isoforms of SR45 have distinct biological functions.

Alternate JournalPlant Physiol.
PubMed ID19403727
PubMed Central IDPMC2705014