Ethylene gas is essential for many developmental processes and stress responses in plants. EIN2 plays a key role in ethylene signalling but its function remains enigmatic. Here, we show that ethylene specifically elevates acetylation of histone H3K14 and the non-canonical acetylation of H3K23 in etiolated seedlings. The up-regulation of these two histone marks positively correlates with ethylene-regulated transcription activation, and the elevation requires EIN2. Both EIN2 and EIN3 interact with a SANT domain protein named EIN2 nuclear associated protein 1 (ENAP1), overexpression of which results in elevation of histone acetylation and enhanced ethylene-inducible gene expression in an EIN2-dependent manner. On the basis of these findings we propose a model where, in the presence of ethylene, the EIN2 C terminus contributes to downstream signalling via the elevation of acetylation at H3K14 and H3K23. ENAP1 may potentially mediate ethylene-induced histone acetylation via its interactions with EIN2 C terminus.
The gaseous plant hormone ethylene regulates a multitude of growth and developmental processes. How the numerous growth control pathways are coordinated by the ethylene transcriptional response remains elusive. We characterized the dynamic ethylene transcriptional response by identifying targets of the master regulator of the ethylene signaling pathway, ETHYLENE INSENSITIVE3 (EIN3), using chromatin immunoprecipitation sequencing and transcript sequencing during a timecourse of ethylene treatment. Ethylene-induced transcription occurs in temporal waves regulated by EIN3, suggesting distinct layers of transcriptional control. EIN3 binding was found to modulate a multitude of downstream transcriptional cascades, including a major feedback regulatory circuitry of the ethylene signaling pathway, as well as integrating numerous connections between most of the hormone mediated growth response pathways. These findings provide direct evidence linking each of the major plant growth and development networks in novel ways.
Ethylene gas is essential for many developmental processes and stress responses in plants. ETHYLENE INSENSITIVE2 (EIN2), an NRAMP-like integral membrane protein, plays an essential role in ethylene signaling, but its function remains enigmatic. Here we report that phosphorylation-regulated proteolytic processing of EIN2 triggers its endoplasmic reticulum (ER)–to–nucleus translocation. ER-tethered EIN2 shows CONSTITUTIVE TRIPLE RESPONSE1 (CTR1) kinase–dependent phosphorylation. Ethylene triggers dephosphorylation at several sites and proteolytic cleavage at one of these sites, resulting in nuclear translocation of a carboxyl-terminal EIN2 fragment (EIN2-C′). Mutations that mimic EIN2 dephosphorylation, or inactivate CTR1, show constitutive cleavage and nuclear localization of EIN2-C′ and EIN3 and EIN3-LIKE1–dependent activation of ethylene responses. These findings uncover a mechanism of subcellular communication whereby ethylene stimulates phosphorylation-dependent cleavage and nuclear movement of the EIN2-C′ peptide, linking hormone perception and signaling components in the ER with nuclear-localized transcriptional regulators.
In plant innate immunity, the leucine-rich repeat receptor kinase FLS2 recognizes the bacterial pathogen-associated molecular pattern (PAMP) flagellin. The molecular mechanisms underlying PAMP perception are not fully understood. Here, we reveal that the gaseous phytohormone ethylene is an integral part of PAMP-triggered immunity. Plants mutated in the key ethylene-signaling protein EIN2 are impaired in all FLS2-mediated responses, correlating with reduced FLS2 transcription and protein accumulation. The EIN3 and EIN3-like transcription factors, which depend on EIN2 activity for their accumulation, directly control FLS2 expression. Our results reveal a direct role for ethylene in regulation of an innate immune receptor.