Farnesylated heat shock protein 40 is a component of membrane-bound RISC in Arabidopsis

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ARGONAUTE1 (AGO1) binds directly to small regulatory RNA and is a key effector protein of post-transcriptional gene silencing mediated by microRNA (miRNA) and small interfering RNA (siRNA) in Arabidopsis. The formation of an RNA-induced silencing complex (RISC) of AGO1 and small RNA requires the function of the heat shock protein 70/90 chaperone system. Some functions of AGO1 occur in association with endomembranes, in particular the rough endoplasmic reticulum (RER), but proteins interacting with AGO1 in membrane fractions remain unidentified. In this study, we show that the farnesylated heat shock protein 40 homologs, J2 and J3, associate with AGO1 in membrane fractions in a manner that involves protein farnesylation. We also show that three changes in AGO1 function are detectable in mutants in protein farnesylation and J2/J3. First, perturbations of the HSP40/70/90 pathway by mutation of J3, HSP90, and farnesyl transferase affect the amounts of AGO1 associated with membranes. Second, miRNA association with membrane-bound polysomes is increased in farnesyl transferase and farnesylation-deficient J2/J3 mutants. Third, silencing by noncell autonomously acting short interfering RNAs is impaired. These observations highlight the involvement of farnesylated J2/J3 in small RNA-mediated gene regulation, and suggest that the importance of chaperone-AGO1 interaction is not limited to the RISC assembly process.


  • Lars Sjögren
  • Maïna Floris
  • Andrea Barghetti
  • Franziska Völlmy
  • Rune Linding
  • Peter Brodersen
Externa organisationer
  • University of Copenhagen
  • Biotech Research and Innovation Centre
Sidor (från-till)16608-16622
TidskriftJournal of Biological Chemistry
Utgåva nummer43
StatusPublished - 2018
Peer review utfördJa
Externt publiceradJa