In intact plants, cells in axillary buds are arrested at the G1 phase of the cell cycle during dormancy. In mammalian cells, the cell cycle is suppressed at the G1 phase by the activities of retinoblastoma tumor suppressor gene (RB) family proteins, depending on their phosphorylation state. Here, we report the isolation of a pea cDNA clone encoding an RB-related protein (PsRBR1, Accession No. AB012024) with a high degree of amino acid conservation in comparison with RB family proteins. PsRBR1 protein was detected as two polypeptides using an anti-PsRBR1 antibody in dormant axillary buds, whereas it was detected as three polypeptides, which were the same two polypeptides and another larger polypeptide 2 h after terminal decapitation. Both in vitro-synthesized PsPRB1 protein and lambda protein phosphatase-treated PsRBR1 protein corresponded to the smallest polypeptide detected by anti-PsRBR1 antibody, suggesting that the three polypeptides correspond to non-phosphorylated form of PsRBR1 protein, and lower- and higher-molecular mass forms of phosphorylated PsRBR1 protein. Furthermore, in vivo labeling with [32P]-inorganic phosphate indicated that PsRBR1 protein was more phosphorylated before mRNA accumulation of cell cycle regulatory genes such as PCNA. Together these findings suggest that dormancy-to-growth transition in pea axillary buds is regulated by molecular mechanisms of cell cycle control similar to those in mammals, and that the PsRBR1 protein has an important role in suppressing the cell cycle during dormancy in axillary buds.
Plant Molecular Biology – Springer Journals
Published: Nov 22, 2007
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