A Role for Plant KASH Proteins in Regulating Stomatal Dynamics

Stomatal movement, which regulates gas exchange in plants, is controlled by a variety of environmental factors, including biotic and abiotic stresses. The stress hormone abscisic acid (ABA) initiates a signaling cascade, which leads to increased H2O2 and Ca2+ levels and F-actin reorganization, but the mechanism of, and connection between, these events is unclear. SINE1, an outer nuclear envelope component of a plant Linker of Nucleoskeleton and Cytoskeleton complex, associates with F-actin and is, along with its putative paralog SINE2, expressed in guard cells. Here, we have determined that Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana) SINE1 and SINE2 play an important role in stomatal opening and closing. Loss of SINE1 or SINE2 results in ABA hyposensitivity and impaired stomatal dynamics but does not affect stomatal closure induced by the bacterial elicitor flg22. The ABA-induced stomatal closure phenotype is, in part, attributed to impairments in Ca2+ and F-actin regulation. Together, the data suggest that SINE1 and SINE2 act downstream of ABA but upstream of Ca2+ and F-actin. While there is a large degree of functional overlap between the two proteins, there are also critical differences. Our study makes an unanticipated connection between stomatal regulation and nuclear envelope-associated proteins, and adds two new players to the increasingly complex system of guard cell regulation.

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