In developing rice (Oryza sativa) endosperm, mRNAs of the major storage proteins, glutelin and prolamine, are transported and anchored to distinct subdomains of the cortical endoplasmic reticulum. RNA binding protein RBP-P binds to both glutelin and prolamine mRNAs, suggesting a role in some aspect of their RNA metabolism. Here, we show that rice lines expressing mutant RBP-P mislocalize both glutelin and prolamine mRNAs. Different mutant RBP-P proteins exhibited varying degrees of reduced RNA binding and/or protein-protein interaction properties, which may account for the mislocalization of storage protein RNAs. In addition, partial loss of RBP-P function conferred a broad phenotypic variation ranging from dwarfism, chlorophyll deficiency, and sterility to late flowering and low spikelet fertility. Transcriptome analysis highlighted the essential role of RBP-P in regulating storage protein genes and several essential biological processes during grain development. Overall, our data demonstrate the significant roles of RBP-P in glutelin and prolamine mRNA localization and in the regulation of genes important for plant growth and development through its RNA binding activity and cooperative regulation with interacting proteins.

Source link