Ectopic expression of an activated RAC in Arabidopsis disrupts membrane cycling.

Research paper by Daria D Bloch, Meirav M Lavy, Yael Y Efrat, Idan I Efroni, Keren K Bracha-Drori, Mohamad M Abu-Abied, Einat E Sadot, Shaul S Yalovsky

Indexed on: 11 Feb '05Published on: 11 Feb '05Published in: Molecular biology of the cell


Rho GTPases regulate the actin cytoskeleton, exocytosis, endocytosis, and other signaling cascades. Rhos are subdivided into four subfamilies designated Rho, Racs, Cdc42, and a plant-specific group designated RACs/Rops. This research demonstrates that ectopic expression of a constitutive active Arabidopsis RAC, AtRAC10, disrupts actin cytoskeleton organization and membrane cycling. We created transgenic plants expressing either wild-type or constitutive active AtRAC10 fused to the green fluorescent protein. The activated AtRAC10 induced deformation of root hairs and leaf epidermal cells and was primarily localized in Triton X-100-insoluble fractions of the plasma membrane. Actin cytoskeleton reorganization was revealed by creating double transgenic plants expressing activated AtRAC10 and the actin marker YFP-Talin. Plants were further analyzed by membrane staining with N-[3-triethylammoniumpropyl]-4-[p-diethylaminophenylhexatrienyl] pyridinium dibromide (FM4-64) under different treatments, including the protein trafficking inhibitor brefeldin A or the actin-depolymeryzing agents latrunculin-B (Lat-B) and cytochalasin-D (CD). After drug treatments, activated AtRAC10 did not accumulate in brefeldin A compartments, but rather reduced their number and colocalized with FM4-64-labeled membranes in large intracellular vesicles. Furthermore, endocytosis was compromised in root hairs of activated AtRAC10 transgenic plants. FM4-64 was endocytosed in nontransgenic root hairs treated with the actin-stabilizing drug jasplakinolide. These findings suggest complex regulation of membrane cycling by plant RACs.