The CURLY LEAF interacting protein BLISTER controls expression of polycomb-group target genes and cellular differentiation of Arabidopsis thaliana
Schatlowski N, Stahl Y, Hohenstatt ML, Goodrich J, Schubert D – 2010
Polycomb-group (Pc-G) proteins are important regulators of many developmental processes in plants and animals and repress gene expression by imparting histone H3 lysine 27 trimethylation (H3K27me3). Here, we present the identification of the novel, plant-specific Arabidopsis thaliana protein BLISTER (BLI), which interacts with the Pc-G histone methyltransferase CURLY LEAF (CLF). We map the interaction of BLI with CLF to a predicted coiled-coil domain in BLI that shares similarity with STRUCTURAL MAINTENANCE OF CHROMOSOMES proteins. BLI colocalizes with CLF in the nucleus, shows an overlapping expression pattern with CLF throughout plant development that is strongest in dividing cells, and represses a subset of Pc-G target genes. Loss of BLI results in a pleiotropic developmental mutant phenotype, indicating that BLI prevents premature differentiation. Furthermore, bli mutants exhibit severe epidermal defects, including loss of cell adhesion, outgrowth of cells, and increased cotyledon cell size. As these phenotypes have not been observed in Pc-G mutants, we propose that BLI has functions related to Pc-G proteins but can also act independently in Arabidopsis development.