New understanding of ethylene signaling for plant growth

New understanding of ethylene signaling for plant growth

Ethylene is a gaseous phytohormone that plays vital roles in plant growth and development.

Previous studies uncovered EIN2 as an essential signal transducer linking ethylene perception on ER to transcriptional regulation in the nucleus through a “cleave and shuttle” model.

In this study published in the journal Cell, researchers report another mechanism of EIN2-mediated ethylene signaling, whereby EIN2 imposes the translational repression of EBF1 and EBF2 mRNA.

They find that the EBF1/2 3′ UTRs mediate EIN2-directed translational repression and identify multiple poly-uridylates (PolyU) motifs as functional cis elements of 3′ UTRs.

Furthermore, authors demonstrate that ethylene induces EIN2 to associate with 3′ UTRs and target EBF1/2 mRNA to cytoplasmic processing-body (P-body) through interacting with multiple P-body factors, including EIN5 and PABs.

This study illustrates translational regulation as a key step in ethylene signaling and presents mRNA 3′ UTR functioning as a “signal transducer” to sense and relay cellular signaling in plants.