Increasing grain yield is a major goal of breeders due to the rising global demand for food. We previously reported that the miR397-LACCASE (OsLAC) module regulates brassinosteroid (BR) signaling and grain yield in rice (Oryza sativa). However, the precise roles of laccase enzymes in the BR pathway remain unclear. Here, we report that OsLAC controls grain yield by preventing the turnover of TRANSTHYRETIN-LIKE (OsTTL), a negative regulator of BR signaling. Overexpressing OsTTL decreased BR sensitivity in rice, while loss-of-function of OsTTL led to enhanced BR signaling and increased grain yield. OsLAC directly binds to OsTTL and regulates its phosphorylation-mediated turnover. The phosphorylation site Ser226 of OsTTL is essential for its ubiquitination and degradation. Overexpressing the dephosphorylation-mimic form of OsTTL (OsTTLS226A) resulted in more severe defects than did overexpressing OsTTL. These findings provide insight into the role of an ancient laccase in BR signaling and suggest that the OsLAC-OsTTL module could serve as a target for improving grain yield.

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