Identification of MOS9 as an interaction partner for chalcone synthase in the nucleus
Plant flavonoid metabolism has served as a platform for understanding a range of fundamental biological phenomena, including providing some of the early insights into the subcellular organization of metabolism. Evidence assembled over the past three decades points to the organization of the component enzymes as a membrane-associated complex centered on the entry-point enzyme, chalcone synthase (CHS), with flux into branch pathways controlled by competitive protein interactions. Flavonoid enzymes have also been found in the nucleus in a variety of plant species, raising the possibility of alternative, or moonlighting functions for these proteins in this compartment. Here, we present evidence that CHS interacts with MOS9, a nuclear-localized protein that has been linked to epigenetic control of R genes that mediate effector-triggered immunity. Overexpression of MOS9 results in a reduction of CHS transcript levels and a metabolite profile that substantially intersects with the effects of a null mutation in CHS. These results suggest that the MOS9–CHS interaction may point to a previously-unknown mechanism for controlling the expression of the highly dynamic flavonoid pathway.