DEAD-Box RNA helicases and epigenetic control of abiotic Stress-Responsive gene expression

Simon Barak, Narendra Singh Yadav, Asif Khan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Plant responses to abiotic stresses are controlled by a complex tier of epigenetic, transcriptional and post-transcriptional regulation. We have provided evidence that the DEAD-box RNA helicases, STRESS RESPONSE SUPPRESSOR (STRS) 1 and STRS2 are negative regulators of Arabidopsis thaliana stressresponsive transcription factors. Using GFP-STRS fusion proteins, we have demonstrated that the STRSs are localized to the nucleolus and chromocenters, and are rapidly removed to the nucleoplasm upon application of various abiotic stresses. The STRSs appear to act via RNA-directed DNA methylation to suppress Arabidopsis stress responses; this repressive epigenetic mechanism is abrogated by abiotic stress eventually leading to an open chromatin structure allowing expression of stress-responsive genes.

Original languageAmerican English
Article numbere977729
Pages (from-to)e977729-e977734
JournalPlant Signaling and Behavior
Issue number12
StatePublished - 31 Dec 2014


  • Abiotic stress
  • Arabidopsis thaliana
  • DEAD-box RNA helicases
  • Epigenetic gene silencing
  • Nucleolus
  • RNAdirected DNA methylation

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Plant Science


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