The development of the flat morphology of leaf blades is dependent on the control of cell proliferation as well as cell expansion. Each process has a polarity with respect to the longitudinal and transverse axes of the leaf blade. However, only a few regulatory components of these processes have been identified to date. We have characterized two genes from Arabidopsis thaliana: ANGUSTIFOLIA3 (AN3), which encodes a homolog of the human transcription coactivator SYT, and GROWTH-REGULATING FACTOR5 (AtGRF5), which encodes a putative transcription factor. AN3 is identical to GRF-INTERACTING FACTOR1 (AtGIF1). The an3 and atgrf5 mutants exhibit narrow-leaf phenotypes due to decreases in cell number. Conversely, cell proliferation in leaf primordia is enhanced and leaves grow larger than normal when AN3 or AtGRF5 is overexpressed. Both genes are expressed in leaf primordia, and in the yeast two-hybrid assay, the gene products were found to interact with each other through their N-terminal domains. These results suggest that AN3 and AtGRF5 act together and are required for the development of appropriate leaf size and shape through the promotion and/or maintenance of cell proliferation activity in leaf primordia.
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