GENERAL CONTROL NON-REPRESSIBLE 5 (GCN5) is a histone acetyltransferase (HAT) and the catalytic subunit of several multicomponent HAT complexes that acetylate lysine residues of histone H3. Mutants in AtGCN5 display pleiotropic developmental defects including aberrant meristem function. Shoot apical meristem (SAM) maintenance is regulated by CLAVATA1 (CLV1), a receptor kinase that controls the size of the shoot and floral meristems. Upon activation through CLV3 binding, CLV1 signals to the transcription factor WUSCHEL (WUS), restricting WUS expression and thus the meristem size. We hypothesized that GCN5 and CLV1 act together to affect SAM function. Using genetic and molecular approaches, we generated and characterized clv gcn5 mutants. Surprisingly, the clv1-1 gcn5-1 double mutant exhibited constitutive ethylene responses, suggesting that GCN5 and CLV signaling act synergistically to inhibit ethylene responses in Arabidopsis. This genetic and molecular interaction was mediated by ETHYLENE INSENSITIVE 3/ EIN3-LIKE1 (EIN3/EIL1) transcription factors. Our data suggest that signals from the CLV transduction pathway reach the GCN5-containing complexes in the nucleus and alter the histone acetylation status of ethylene-responsive genes, thus translating the CLV information to transcriptional activity and uncovering a link between histone acetylation and SAM maintenance in the complex mode of ethylene signaling.
Poulios, S., & Vlachonasios, K. E. (2016). Synergistic action of histone acetyltransferase GCN5 and receptor CLAVATA1 negatively affects ethylene responses in Arabidopsis thaliana. Journal of Experimental Botany, 67(3), 905–918. https://doi.org/10.1093/jxb/erv503