Journal Article

Functional Characterization of DEAD-Box RNA Helicases in <i>Arabidopsis thaliana</i> under Abiotic Stress Conditions

Jin Sun Kim, Kyung Ae Kim, Tae Rin Oh, Chul Min Park and Hunseung Kang

in Plant and Cell Physiology

Published on behalf of Japanese Society of Plant Physiologists

Volume 49, issue 10, pages 1563-1571
Published in print October 2008 | ISSN: 0032-0781
Published online August 2008 | e-ISSN: 1471-9053 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/pcp/pcn125
Functional Characterization of DEAD-Box RNA Helicases in Arabidopsis thaliana under Abiotic Stress Conditions

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  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular and Cell Biology
  • Plant Sciences and Forestry

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DEAD-box RNA helicases have been implicated to have a function during stress adaptation processes, but their functional roles in plant stress responses remain to be clearly elucidated. Here, we assessed the expression patterns and functional roles of two RNA helicases, AtRH9 and AtRH25, in Arabidopsis thaliana under abiotic stress conditions. The transcript levels of AtRH9 and AtRH25 were up-regulated markedly in response to cold stress, whereas their transcript levels were down-regulated by salt or drought stress. Phenotypic analysis of the transgenic plants and T-DNA-tagged mutants showed that the constitutive overexpression of AtRH9 or AtRH25 resulted in the retarded seed germination of Arabidopsis plants under salt stress conditions. AtRH25, but not AtRH9, enhanced freezing tolerance in Arabidopsis plants. Both AtRH9 and AtRH25 complemented the cold-sensitive phenotype of BX04 Escherichia coli mutant cells, but AtRH25 had much more prominent complementation ability than AtRH9. An in vitro nucleic acid binding assay showed that AtRH9 binds equally to all homoribopolymers, whereas AtRH25 binds preferentially to poly(G). Taken together, these results demonstrate that AtRH9 and AtRH25 impact on the seed germination of Arabidopsis plants under salt stress conditions, and suggest that the difference in cold tolerance capability between AtRH9 and AtRH25 arises from their different nucleic acid-binding properties.

Keywords: Abiotic stress; Arabidopsis; Cold shock; DEAD-box RNA helicase; RNA chaperone

Journal Article.  5219 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Biochemistry ; Molecular and Cell Biology ; Plant Sciences and Forestry

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