The Plant cell

The DUF59 family gene AE7 acts in the cytosolic iron-sulfur cluster assembly pathway to maintain nuclear genome integrity in Arabidopsis.

PMID 23104832


Eukaryotic organisms have evolved a set of strategies to safeguard genome integrity, but the underlying mechanisms remain poorly understood. Here, we report that asymmetric leaves1/2 enhancer7 (AE7), an Arabidopsis thaliana gene encoding a protein in the evolutionarily conserved Domain of Unknown Function 59 family, participates in the cytosolic iron-sulfur (Fe-S) cluster assembly (CIA) pathway to maintain genome integrity. The severe ae7-2 allele is embryo lethal, whereas plants with the weak ae7 (ae7-1) allele are viable but exhibit highly accumulated DNA damage that activates the DNA damage response to arrest the cell cycle. AE7 is part of a protein complex with CIA1, NAR1, and MET18, which are highly conserved in eukaryotes and are involved in the biogenesis of cytosolic and nuclear Fe-S proteins. ae7-1 plants have lower activities of the cytosolic [4Fe-4S] enzyme aconitase and the nuclear [4Fe-4S] enzyme DNA glycosylase ROS1. Additionally, mutations in the gene encoding the mitochondrial ATP binding cassette transporter ATM3/ABCB25, which is required for the activity of cytosolic Fe-S enzymes in Arabidopsis, also result in defective genome integrity similar to that of ae7-1. These results indicate that AE7 is a central member of the CIA pathway, linking plant mitochondria to nuclear genome integrity through assembly of Fe-S proteins.