An Arabidopsis Basic Helix-Loop-Helix Leucine Zipper Protein Modulates Metal Homeostasis and Auxin Conjugate Responsiveness


The plant hormone auxin can be regulated by formation and hydrolysis of amide-linked indole-3-acetic acid (IAA) conjugates. Here, we report the characterization of the dominant Arabidopsis iaaleucine resistant3 (ilr3-1) mutant, which has reduced sensitivity to IAA–Leu and IAA–Phe, while retaining wild-type responses to free IAA. The gene defective in ilr3-1 encodes a basic helix-loop-helix leucine zipper protein, bHLH105, and the ilr3-1 lesion results in a truncated product. Overexpressing ilr3-1 in wild-type plants recapitulates certain ilr3-1 mutant phenotypes. In contrast, the loss-of-function ilr3-2 allele has increased IAA–Leu sensitivity compared to wild type, indicating that the ilr3-1 allele confers a gain of function. Microarray and quantitative real-time PCR analyses revealed five downregulated genes in ilr3-1, including three encoding putative membrane proteins similar to the yeast iron and manganese transporter Ccc1p. Transcript changes are accompanied by reciprocally misregulated metal accumulation in ilr3-1 and ilr3-2 mutants. Further, ilr3-1 seedlings are less sensitive than wild type to manganese, and auxin conjugate response phenotypes are dependent on exogenous metal concentration in ilr3 mutants. These data suggest a model in which the ILR3/bHLH105 transcription factor regulates expression of metal transporter genes, perhaps indirectly modulating IAA-conjugate hydrolysis by controlling the availability of metals previously shown to influence IAA–amino acid hydrolase protein activity


Arabidopsis, Helix-Loop_Helix, hydrolysis, mutant, IAA, ilr3-1, leucine zipper protein, phenotypes, genes, metal transporter genes, amino acid hydrolase protein

Date of this Version



Genetics December 2006 vol. 174 no. 4 1841-1857