Nitric oxide sensing in plants is mediated by proteolytic control of group VII ERF transcription factors

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


  • Nurulhikma Md Isa
  • Mahsa Movahedi
  • Jorge Lozano-Juste
  • Guillermina M Mendiondo
  • Sophie Berckhan
  • Nora Marín-de la Rosa
  • Jorge Vicente Conde
  • Cristina Sousa Correia
  • Bulut Hamali
  • Prabhavathi Talloji
  • Daniel F A Tomé
  • Alberto Coego
  • Jim Beynon
  • David Alabadí
  • Andreas Bachmair
  • José León
  • Julie E Gray
  • Frederica L Theodoulou

Colleges, School and Institutes


Nitric oxide (NO) is an important signaling compound in prokaryotes and eukaryotes. In plants, NO regulates critical developmental transitions and stress responses. Here, we identify a mechanism for NO sensing that coordinates responses throughout development based on targeted degradation of plant-specific transcriptional regulators, the group VII ethylene response factors (ERFs). We show that the N-end rule pathway of targeted proteolysis targets these proteins for destruction in the presence of NO, and we establish them as critical regulators of diverse NO-regulated processes, including seed germination, stomatal closure, and hypocotyl elongation. Furthermore, we define the molecular mechanism for NO control of germination and crosstalk with abscisic acid (ABA) signaling through ERF-regulated expression of ABSCISIC ACID INSENSITIVE5 (ABI5). Our work demonstrates how NO sensing is integrated across multiple physiological processes by direct modulation of transcription factor stability and identifies group VII ERFs as central hubs for the perception of gaseous signals in plants.

Bibliographic note

Copyright © 2014 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)369-79
Number of pages11
JournalMolecular Cell
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 6 Feb 2014


  • Abscisic Acid, Arabidopsis Proteins, Basic-Leucine Zipper Transcription Factors, Gene Expression Regulation, Plant, Germination, Nitric Oxide, Oxygen, Plant Stomata, Proteolysis, Signal Transduction, Transcription Factors