The DELLA genes, also known as ‘Green Revolution’ genes, encode conserved master growth regulators that control plant development in response to internal and environmental cues. Functioning as nuclear-localized transcription regulators, DELLAs modulate expression of target genes via direct protein–protein interaction of their carboxy-terminal GRAS domain with hundreds of transcription factors (TFs) and epigenetic regulators. However, the molecular mechanism of DELLA-mediated transcription reprogramming remains unclear. Here by characterizing new missense alleles of an Arabidopsis DELLA, repressor of ga1-3 (RGA), and co-immunoprecipitation assays, we show that RGA binds histone H2A via the PFYRE subdomain within its GRAS domain to form a TF–RGA–H2A complex at the target chromatin. Chromatin immunoprecipitation followed by sequencing analysis further shows that this activity is essential for RGA association with its target chromatin globally. Our results indicate that, although DELLAs are recruited to target promoters by binding to TFs via the LHR1 subdomain, DELLA–H2A interaction via the PFYRE subdomain is necessary to stabilize the TF–DELLA–H2A complex at the target chromatin. This study provides insights into the two distinct key modular functions in DELLA for its genome-wide transcription regulation in plants.
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We thank G. Choi for helpful discussions and for sharing Arabidopsis lines and constructs. This work was supported by the National Institutes of Health (R01 GM100051 to T.-P.S.) and the National Science Foundation (MCB-1818161 to T.-P.S., and NSF-EDGE-1923589 to D.-H.O. and M.D.). We also acknowledge Louisiana State University High Performance Computing services for providing computational resources.
The authors declare no competing interests.
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Huang, X., Tian, H., Park, J. et al. The master growth regulator DELLA binding to histone H2A is essential for DELLA-mediated global transcription regulation. Nat. Plants 9, 1291–1305 (2023). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41477-023-01477-y