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A membrane-bound NAC transcription factor, ANAC017, mediates mitochondrial retrograde signaling in Arabidopsis

  • Sophia Ng
  • Aneta Ivanova
  • Owen Duncan
  • Simon R Law
  • Olivier Van Aken
  • Inge De Clercq
  • Yan Wang
  • Chris Carrie
  • Lin Xu
  • Beata Kmiec
  • Hayden Walker
  • Frank Van Breusegem
  • James Whelan
  • Estelle Giraud
Publishing year: 2013-09
Language: English
Pages: 71-3450
Publication/Series: Plant Cell
Volume: 25
Issue: 9
Document type: Journal article
Publisher: American Society of Plant Biologists

Abstract english

Plants require daily coordinated regulation of energy metabolism for optimal growth and survival and therefore need to integrate cellular responses with both mitochondrial and plastid retrograde signaling. Using a forward genetic screen to characterize regulators of alternative oxidase1a (rao) mutants, we identified RAO2/Arabidopsis NAC domain-containing protein17 (ANAC017) as a direct positive regulator of AOX1a. RAO2/ANAC017 is targeted to connections and junctions in the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) and F-actin via a C-terminal transmembrane (TM) domain. A consensus rhomboid protease cleavage site is present in ANAC017 just prior to the predicted TM domain. Furthermore, addition of the rhomboid protease inhibitor N-p-Tosyl-l-Phe chloromethyl abolishes the induction of AOX1a upon antimycin A treatment. Simultaneous fluorescent tagging of ANAC017 with N-terminal red fluorescent protein (RFP) and C-terminal green fluorescent protein (GFP) revealed that the N-terminal RFP domain migrated into the nucleus, while the C-terminal GFP tag remained in the ER. Genome-wide analysis of the transcriptional network regulated by RAO2/ANAC017 under stress treatment revealed that RAO2/ANAC017 function was necessary for >85% of the changes observed as a primary response to cytosolic hydrogen peroxide (H2O2), but only ~33% of transcriptional changes observed in response to antimycin A treatment. Plants with mutated rao2/anac017 were more stress sensitive, whereas a gain-of-function mutation resulted in plants that had lower cellular levels of H2O2 under untreated conditions.


  • Botany
  • Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
  • Arabidopsis
  • Arabidopsis Proteins
  • Binding Sites
  • Cell Nucleus
  • Endoplasmic Reticulum
  • Gene Expression Profiling
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Plant
  • Genes, Reporter
  • Hydrogen Peroxide
  • Mitochondria
  • Mitochondrial Proteins
  • Mutation
  • Oligonucleotide Array Sequence Analysis
  • Oxidoreductases
  • Phenotype
  • Phylogeny
  • Plant Proteins
  • Protein Structure, Tertiary
  • Recombinant Fusion Proteins
  • Seedlings
  • Signal Transduction
  • Stress, Physiological
  • Transcription Factors
  • Transcriptome


  • ISSN: 1040-4651
Olivier van Aken
E-mail: olivier [dot] van_aken [at] biol [dot] lu [dot] se

Senior lecturer

Molecular Cell Biology

+46 46 222 94 13



Research group

Plant Biology



Doctoral students and postdocs

PhD students, main supervisor