The Arabidopsis F-box protein FBW2 targets AGO1 for degradation to prevent spurious loading of illegitimate small RNA

Thibaut Hacquard, Marion Clavel, Patricia Baldrich, Esther Lechner, Imma Pérez-Salamó, Mikhail Schepetilnikov, Benoît Derrien, Marieke Dubois, Philippe Hammann, Lauriane Kuhn, Danaé Brun, Nathalie Bouteiller, Nicolas Baumberger, Hervé Vaucheret, Blake C. Meyers, Pascal Genschik

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations

Abstract

RNA silencing is a conserved mechanism in eukaryotes involved in development and defense against viruses. In plants, ARGONAUTE1 (AGO1) protein plays a central role in both microRNA- and small interfering RNA-directed silencing, and its expression is regulated at multiple levels. Here, we report that the F-box protein FBW2 assembles an SCF complex that selectively targets for proteolysis AGO1 when it is unloaded and mutated. Although FBW2 loss of function does not lead to strong growth or developmental defects, it significantly increases RNA-silencing activity. Interestingly, under conditions in which small-RNA accumulation is affected, the failure to degrade AGO1 in fbw2 mutants becomes more deleterious for the plant. Accordingly, the non-degradable AGO1 protein assembles high-molecular-weight complexes and binds illegitimate small RNA, leading to off-target cleavage. Therefore, control of AGO1 homeostasis by FBW2 plays an important role in quality control of RNA silencing.

Original languageEnglish
Article number110671
JournalCell Reports
Volume39
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 12 2022

Keywords

  • Arbidopsis
  • Argonaute proteins
  • CP: molecular biology
  • CP: plants
  • RNA cleavage
  • RNA silencing
  • proteolysis

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