The ubiquitin proteasome system in plants plays important roles in plant-microbe interactions and in immune responses to pathogens. We previously demonstrated that the rice U-box E3 ligase SPL11 and its Arabidopsis ortholog PUB13 negatively regulate programmed cell death (PCD) and defense response. However, the components involved in the SPL11/PUB13-mediated PCD and immune signaling pathway remain unknown. In this study, we report that SPL11-interacting Protein 6 (SPIN6) is a Rho GTPase-activating protein (RhoGAP) that interacts with SPL11 in vitro and in vivo. SPL11 ubiquitinates SPIN6 in vitro and degrades SPIN6 in vivo via the 26S proteasome-dependent pathway. Both RNAi silencing in transgenic rice and knockout of Spin6 in a T-DNA insertion mutant lead to PCD and increased resistance to the rice blast pathogen Magnaporthe oryzae and the bacterial blight pathogen Xanthomonas oryzae pv. oryzae. The levels of reactive oxygen species and defense-related gene expression are significantly elevated in both the Spin6 RNAi and mutant plants. Strikingly, SPIN6 interacts with the small GTPase OsRac1, catalyze the GTP-bound OsRac1 into the GDP-bound state in vitro and has GAP activity towards OsRac1 in rice cells. Together, our results demonstrate that the RhoGAP SPIN6 acts as a linkage between a U-box E3 ligase-mediated ubiquitination pathway and a small GTPase-associated defensome system for plant immunity.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Molecular Biology