Conserved and Plant-specific Histone Acetyltransferase Complexes Cooperate to Regulate Gene Transcription and Plant Development
Published:15 Mar.2023    Source:Nature Plants

Although a conserved SAGA complex containing the histone acetyltransferase GCN5 is known to mediate histone acetylation and transcriptional activation in eukaryotes, how to maintain different levels of histone acetylation and transcription at the whole-genome level remains to be determined. Here we identify and characterize a plant-specific GCN5-containing complex, which we term PAGA, in Arabidopsis thaliana and Oryza sativa. In Arabidopsis, the PAGA complex consists of two conserved subunits (GCN5 and ADA2A) and four plant-specific subunits (SPC, ING1, SDRL and EAF6). We find that PAGA and SAGA can independently mediate moderate and high levels of histone acetylation, respectively, thereby promoting transcriptional activation. Moreover, PAGA and SAGA can also repress gene transcription via the antagonistic effect between PAGA and SAGA. Unlike SAGA, which regulates multiple biological processes, PAGA is specifically involved in plant height and branch growth by regulating the transcription of hormone biosynthesis and response related genes. These results reveal how PAGA and SAGA cooperate to regulate histone acetylation, transcription and development. Given that the PAGA mutants show semi-dwarf and increased branching phenotypes without reduction in seed yield, the PAGA mutations could potentially be used for crop improvement.