Post-transcriptional gene regulation by RNA recognition motif (RRM) proteins through binding to cis-elements in the 3′-untranslated region (3′-UTR) is widely used in eukaryotes to complete various biological processes. Rice MEIOSIS ARRESTED AT LEPTOTENE2 (MEL2) is the RRM protein that functions in the transition to meiosis in proper timing. The MEL2 RRM preferentially associated with the U-rich RNA consensus, UUAGUU[U/A][U/G][A/U/G]U, dependently on sequences and proportionally to MEL2 protein amounts in vitro. The consensus sequences were located in the putative looped structures of the RNA ligand. A genome-wide survey revealed a tendency of MEL2-binding consensus appearing in 3′-UTR of rice genes. Of 249 genes that conserved the consensus in their 3′-UTR, 13 genes spatiotemporally co-expressed with MEL2 in meiotic flowers, and included several genes whose function was supposed in meiosis; such as Replication protein A and OsMADS3. The proteome analysis revealed that the amounts of small ubiquitin-related modifier-like protein and eukaryotic translation initiation factor3-like protein were dramatically altered in mel2 mutant anthers. Taken together with transcriptome and gene ontology results, we propose that the rice MEL2 is involved in the translational regulation of key meiotic genes on 3′-UTRs to achieve the faithful transition of germ cells to meiosis.
Plant Molecular Biology – Springer Journals
Published: Aug 30, 2015
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