New tangles in the auxin signaling web.
Wright, R. Clay
Nemhauser, Jennifer L.
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Plants use auxin to relay critical information that shapes their growth and development. Auxin perception and transcriptional activation are mediated by the degradation of Aux/IAA repressor proteins. Degradation of Aux/IAAs relieves repression on Auxin Response Factors (ARFs), which bind DNA sequences called Auxin Response Elements (AuxREs). In most higher plant genomes, multiple paralogs exist for each part of the auxin nuclear signaling pathway. This potential combinatorial diversity in signaling pathways likely contributes to the myriad of context-specific responses to auxin. Recent structures of several domains from ARF proteins have exposed new modes of ARF dimerization, new models for ARF-AuxRE specificity, and the strong likelihood of larger order complexes formed by ARF and Aux/IAA homo- and heteromultimerization. Preliminary experiments support a role for these novel interactions in planta, further increasing the potential architectural complexity of this seemingly simple pathway.