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A membrane-associated NAC transcription factor OsNTL3 is involved in thermotolerance in rice.

Global climate change, including an increase in average temperatures and atmospheric CO2 concentrations, has great impacts on plant growth and yield production. Heat stress induces misfolded protein accumulation in endoplasmic reticulum (ER), which initiates the unfolded protein response (UPR) in plants. Previous work has demonstrated the important role of a rice ER membrane-associated transcription factor OsbZIP74 (also known as OsbZIP50) in UPR. However, how OsbZIP74 and other membrane-associated transcription factors are involved in heat stress tolerance in rice is not reported. In the current study, we discovered that OsNTL3 is required for heat stress tolerance in rice.

Liu XH, Lyu YS, Yang W, Yang ZT, Lu SJ, Liu JX.

Plant Biotechnol J. 2020 May;18(5):1317-1329.

Abstract

Global climate change, including an increase in average temperatures and atmospheric CO2 concentrations, has great impacts on plant growth and yield production. Heat stress induces misfolded protein accumulation in endoplasmic reticulum (ER), which initiates the unfolded protein response (UPR) in plants. Previous work has demonstrated the important role of a rice ER membrane-associated transcription factor OsbZIP74 (also known as OsbZIP50) in UPR. However, how OsbZIP74 and other membrane-associated transcription factors are involved in heat stress tolerance in rice is not reported. In the current study, we discovered that OsNTL3 is required for heat stress tolerance in rice. OsNTL3 is constitutively expressed and up-regulated by heat and ER stresses. OsNTL3 encodes a NAC transcription factor with a predicted C-terminal transmembrane domain. GFP-OsNTL3 relocates from plasma membrane to nucleus in response to heat stress and ER stress inducers. Loss-of-function mutation of OsNTL3 confers heat sensitivity while inducible expression of the truncated form of OsNTL3 without the transmembrane domain increases heat tolerance in rice seedlings. RNA-Seq analysis revealed that OsNTL3 regulates the expression of genes involved in ER protein folding and other processes. Interestingly, OsNTL3 directly binds to OsbZIP74 promoter and regulates its expression in response to heat stress. In turn, up-regulation of OsNTL3 by heat stress is dependent on OsbZIP74. Thus, our work reveals the important role of OsNTL3 in thermotolerance, and a regulatory circuit mediated by OsbZIP74 and OsNTL3 in communications among ER, plasma membrane and nucleus under heat stress conditions.

 

See https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7152603/

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