Induction of karyopherin α1 expression by indole-3-acetic acid in auxin-treated or overproducing tobacco plants

Karin Rand, Irina Kobrinsky-Aaronowitz, Yael Levy, Orit Shaul, Roni Aloni, Yedidya Gafni

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1 Scopus citations


Macromolecules may transfer between the cytoplasm and the nucleus only through specific gates-the nuclear pore complexes (NPCs). Translocation of nucleic acids and large proteins requires the presence of a nuclear localization signal (NLS) within the transported molecule. This NLS is recognized by a class of soluble transport receptors termed karyopherins α and β. We previously characterized the expression pattern of the tomato karyopherin α1 (LeKAPα1) promoter in transformed tobacco plants. Expression of LeKAPα1 was mainly observed in growing tissues where cell division and extension is rapid. The expression pattern of LeKAPα1 resembled that of auxin-responsive genes. This led us to suggest that auxin participates in the regulation of LeKAPα1 expression. Here we characterized the correlation between auxin level and the activity of the LeKAPα1 promoter. To this end, transgenic tobacco plants carrying the GUS reporter gene under the control of the LeKAPα1 promoter were treated with various levels of exogenous auxin. We also studied transgenic plants in which we increased the endogenous levels of auxin. For this, we expressed in plants both the LeKAPα1 promoter-GUS reporter and the Agrobacterium tumefaciens iaaM gene, which increases the endogenous levels of auxin. The results indicate that the auxin indole-3-acetic acid (IAA) can induce LeKAPα1 expression. We also identified that the sites and levels of LeKAPα1 expression correlated with the endogenous pathways of polar auxin transport.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)815-820
Number of pages6
JournalPlant Signaling and Behavior
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2011

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This article is dedicated to the memory of Dr. Aaron Zelcer (1943–2010), to whom we are also thankful for many helpful discussions. This work was supported by a grant from the US-Israel Binational Agricultural Research and Development Fund (BARD) to Y.G. This paper is a contribution from the Agricultural Research Organization, the Volcani Center, Bet Dagan, Israel, no. 134/2010.


  • Auxin
  • Karyopherin α1
  • Nuclear pore complex
  • Plant virus
  • Tylcv


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