Distinct branches of the N-end rule pathway modulate the plant immune response

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


  • Jorge Vicente
  • Guillermina M Mendiondo
  • Jarne Pauwels
  • Victoria Pastor
  • Yovanny Izquierdo
  • Christin Naumann
  • Mahsa Movahedi
  • Daniel Rooney
  • Katherine Smart
  • Andreas Bachmair
  • Julie E Gray
  • Nico Dissmeyer
  • Carmen Castresana
  • Rumiana V Ray
  • Kris Gevaert
  • Michael J Holdsworth

Colleges, School and Institutes

External organisations

  • School of Biosciences, University of Nottingham, Loughborough, LE12 5RD, UK.
  • Department of Biochemistry, Ghent University, Albert Baertsoenkaai 3, B-9000, Ghent, Belgium.
  • Área de Fisiología Vegetal, Departamento de Ciencias Agrarias y del Medio Natural, Universitat Jaume I, Castellón, E-12071, Spain.
  • Centro National de Biotecnología CSIC, C/Darwin, 3, Campus of Cantoblanco, E-28049, Madrid, Spain.
  • Science Campus Halle - Plant-Based Bioeconomy, 06120 Halle (Saale), Germany.
  • Department of Molecular Biology and Biotechnology, University of Sheffield, Sheffield, S10 2TN, UK.
  • SABMiller Plc, SABMiller House, Church Street West, Woking, GU21 6HS, UK.
  • Department of Biochemistry and Cell Biology, Max F. Perutz Laboratories, University of Vienna, Dr. Bohr Gasse 9, Vienna, A-1030, Austria.


The N-end rule pathway is a highly conserved constituent of the ubiquitin proteasome system, yet little is known about its biological roles. Here we explored the role of the N-end rule pathway in the plant immune response. We investigated the genetic influences of components of the pathway and known protein substrates on physiological, biochemical and metabolic responses to pathogen infection. We show that the glutamine (Gln) deamidation and cysteine (Cys) oxidation branches are both components of the plant immune system, through the E3 ligase PROTEOLYSIS (PRT)6. In Arabidopsis thaliana Gln-specific amino-terminal (Nt)-amidase (NTAQ1) controls the expression of specific defence-response genes, activates the synthesis pathway for the phytoalexin camalexin and influences basal resistance to the hemibiotroph pathogen Pseudomonas syringae pv tomato (Pst). The Nt-Cys ETHYLENE RESPONSE FACTOR VII transcription factor substrates enhance pathogen-induced stomatal closure. Transgenic barley with reduced HvPRT6 expression showed enhanced resistance to Ps. japonica and Blumeria graminis f. sp. hordei, indicating a conserved role of the pathway. We propose that that separate branches of the N-end rule pathway act as distinct components of the plant immune response in flowering plants.


Original languageEnglish
JournalNew Phytologist
Early online date17 Aug 2018
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 17 Aug 2018