The Ring-Type E3 Ubiquitin Ligase JUL1 Targets the VQ-Motif Protein JAV1 to Coordinate Jasmonate Signaling

Jasmonates regulate plant defense and development. In Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana), JASMONATE-ASSOCIATED VQ-MOTIF GENE1 (JAV1/VQ22) is a repressor of jasmonate-mediated defense responses and is degraded through the ubiquitin26S proteasome system after herbivory. We found that JAV1-ASSOCIATED UBIQUITIN LIGASE1 (JUL1), a RING-type E3 ubiquitin ligase, interacted with JAV1. JUL1 interacted with JAV1 in the nucleus to ubiquitinate JAV1, leading to proteasomal degradation of JAV1. The transcript levels of JUL1 and JAV1 were coordinately and positively regulated by the CORONATINE INSENSITIVE1-dependent signaling pathway in the jasmonate signaling network, but in a manner that was not dependent on CORONATINE INSENSITIVE1-mediated signaling upon herbivory by Spodoptera litura. Gain or loss of function of JUL1 modulated the expression levels of the defensin gene PDF1.2 in leaves, conferring on the plants various defense properties against the generalist herbivore S. litura. Because neither the JUL1 mutant nor overexpression lines showed any obvious developmental defects, we concluded that the JAV1/JUL1 system functions as a specific coordinator of reprogramming of plant defense responses. Altogether, our findings offer insight into the mechanisms by which the JAV1/JUL1 system acts specifically to coordinate plant defense responses without interfering with plant development or growth.

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