A plant u-box protein, pub4, regulates asymmetric cell division and cell proliferation in the root meristem

Atsuko Kinoshita, Colette A. Ten Hove, Ryo Tabata, Masashi Yamada, Noriko Shimizu, Takashi Ishida, Katsushi Yamaguchi, Shuji Shigenobu, Yumiko Takebayashi, Satoshi Iuchi, Masatomo Kobayashi, Tetsuya Kurata, Takuji Wada, Mitsunori Seo, Mitsuyasu Hasebe, Ikram Blilou, Hiroo Fukuda, Ben Scheres, Renze Heidstra, Yuji KamiyaShinichiro Sawa*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

54 Scopus citations


The root meristem (RM) is a fundamental structure that is responsible for postembryonic root growth. The RMc ontains the quiescent center (QC), stem cells and frequently dividing meristematic cells, in which the timing and the frequency of cell division are tightly regulated. In Arabidopsis thaliana, several gain-of-function analyses have demonstrated that peptide ligands of the CLAVATA3 (CLV3)/EMBRYO SURROUNDING REGION-RELATED (CLE) family are important for maintaining RM size. Here, we demonstrate that a plant U-box E3 ubiquitin ligase, PUB4, isanovel downstream component of CLV3/CLE signaling in the RM. Mutations in PUB4 reduced the inhibitory effect of exogenous CLV3/CLE peptide on root cell proliferation and columella stem cell maintenance. Moreover, pub4 mutants grown without exogenous CLV3/CLE peptide exhibited characteristic phenotypes in the RM, such as enhanced root growth, increased number of cortex/endodermis stem cells and decreased number of columella layers. Our phenotypic and gene expression analyses indicated that PUB4 promotes expression of a cell cycle regulatory gene, CYCD6;1, and regulates formative periclinal asymmetric cell divisions in endodermis and cortex/ endodermis initial daughters. These data suggest that PUB4 functions as a global regulator of cell proliferation and the timing of asymmetric cell division that are important for final root architecture.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)444-453
Number of pages10
JournalDevelopment (Cambridge)
Issue number3
StatePublished - Feb 1 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Arabidopsis development
  • Asymmetric cell division
  • Cell proliferation
  • Root meristem

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Developmental Biology


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