Two RNA binding proteins, HEN4 and HUA1 act in the processing of AGAMOUS pre-mRNA in Arabidopsis thaliana

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AGAMOUS, a key player in floral morphogenesis, specifies reproductive organ identities and regulates the timely termination of stem cell fates in the floral meristem. Here, we report that strains carrying mutations in three genes, HUA1, HUA2, and HUA ENHANCER4 (HEN4), exhibit floral defects similar to those in agamous mutants: reproductive-to-perianth organ transformation and loss of floral determinacy. HEN4 codes for a K homology (KH) domain-containing, putative RNA binding protein that interacts with HUA1, a CCCH zinc finger RNA binding protein in the nucleus. We show that HUA1 binds AGAMOUS pre-mRNA in vitro and that HEN4, HUA1, and HUA2 act in floral morphogenesis by specifically promoting the processing of AGAMOUS pre-mRNA. Our studies under-score the importance of RNA processing in modulating plant development.

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Developmental Cell

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