International Journal of Molecular Sciences | VOL. 23

Arabidopsis Ubiquitin-Conjugating Enzymes UBC4, UBC5, and UBC6 Have Major Functions in Sugar Metabolism and Leaf Senescence

Publication Date Sep 22, 2022


The ubiquitin-conjugating enzyme (E2) is required for protein ubiquitination. Arabidopsis has 37 E2s grouped into 14 subfamilies and the functions for many of them are unknown. We utilized genetic and biochemical methods to study the roles of Arabidopsis UBC4, UBC5, and UBC6 of the E2 subfamily IV. The Arabidopsis ubc4/5/6 triple mutant plants had higher levels of glucose, sucrose, and starch than the control plants, as well as a higher protein level of a key gluconeogenic enzyme, cytosolic fructose 1,6-bisphosphatase 1 (cyFBP). In an in vitro assay, the proteasome inhibitor MG132 inhibited the degradation of recombinant cyFBP whereas ATP promoted cyFBP degradation. In the quadruple mutant ubc4/5/6 cyfbp, the sugar levels returned to normal, suggesting that the increased sugar levels in the ubc4/5/6 mutant were due to an increased cyFBPase level. In addition, the ubc4/5/6 mutant plants showed early leaf senescence at late stages of plant development as well as accelerated leaf senescence using detached leaves. Further, the leaf senescence phenotype remained in the quadruple ubc4/5/6 cyfbp mutant. Our results suggest that UBC4/5/6 have two lines of important functions, in sugar metabolism through regulating the cyFBP protein level and in leaf senescence likely through a cyFBP-independent mechanism.


Leaf Senescence Triple Mutant Plants Accelerated Leaf Senescence Increased Sugar Levels Cytosolic Fructose Higher Levels Of Glucose Quadruple Mutant Ubiquitin-conjugating Enzyme Sugar Metabolism Mutant Plants

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No potential conflict of interest was reported by the authors. The conception and design of the study, acquisition of data, analysis and interpretatio...

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