Dimerization of the ETO1 family proteins plays a crucial role in regulating ethylene biosynthesis in Arabidopsis thaliana

Shin Yuan Gu, Wan Sheng Lo, Shaw Jye Wu, Long Chi Wang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


ETHYLENE OVERPRODUCER1 (ETO1), ETO1-LIKE1 (EOL1), and EOL2 are members of the Broad complex, Tramtrack, Bric-a-brac (BTB) protein family that collectively regulate type-2 1-aminocyclopropane-1-carboxylic acid synthase (ACS) activity in Arabidopsis thaliana. Although ETO1 and EOL1/EOL2 encode structurally related proteins, genetic studies suggest that they do not play an equivalent role in regulating ethylene biosynthesis. The mechanistic details underlying the genetic analysis remain elusive. In this study, we reveal that ETO1 collaborates with EOL1/2 to play a key role in the regulation of type-2 ACS activity via protein–protein interactions. ETO1, EOL1, and EOL2 exhibit overlapping but distinct tissue-specific expression patterns. Nevertheless, neither EOL1 nor EOL2 can fully complement the eto1 phenotype under control of the ETO1 promoter, which suggests differential functions of ETO1 and EOL1/EOL2. ETO1 forms homodimers with itself and heterodimers with EOLs. Furthermore, CULLIN3 (CUL3) interacts preferentially with ETO1. The BTB domain of ETO1 is sufficient for interaction with CUL3 and is required for homodimerization. However, domain-swapping analysis in transgenic Arabidopsis suggests that the BTB domain of ETO1 is essential but not sufficient for a full spectrum of ETO1 function. The missense mutation in eto1-5 generates a substitution of phenylalanine with an isoleucine in ETO1F466I that impairs its dimerization and interaction with EOLs but does not affect binding to CUL3 or ACS5. Overexpression of ETO1F466I in Arabidopsis results in a constitutive triple response phenotype in dark-grown seedlings. Our findings reveal the mechanistic role of protein–protein interactions of ETO1 and EOL1/EOL2 that is crucial for their biological function in ethylene biosynthesis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1293-1308
Number of pages16
JournalPlant Journal
Issue number5
StatePublished - Mar 2021


  • Arabidopsis thaliana
  • Broad complex, Tramtrack, Bric-a-brac
  • ethylene
  • hormones
  • protein dimerization


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