Research ArticlePLANT SCIENCES

RALF1-FERONIA complex affects splicing dynamics to modulate stress responses and growth in plants

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Science Advances  20 May 2020:
Vol. 6, no. 21, eaaz1622
DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.aaz1622


The environmentally responsive signaling pathways that link global transcriptomic changes through alternative splicing (AS) to plant fitness remain unclear. Here, we found that the interaction of the extracellular rapid alkalinization FACTOR 1 (RALF1) peptide with its receptor FERONIA (FER) triggered a rapid and massive RNA AS response by interacting with and phosphorylating glycine-rich RNA binding protein7 (GRP7) to elevate GRP7 nuclear accumulation in Arabidopsis thaliana. FER-dependent GRP7 phosphorylation enhanced its mRNA binding ability and its association with the spliceosome component U1-70K to enable splice site selection, modulating dynamic AS. Genetic reversal of a RALF1-FER–dependent splicing target partly rescued mutants deficient in GRP7. AS of GRP7 itself induced nonsense-mediated decay feedback to the RALF1-FER-GRP7 module, fine-tuning stress responses, and cell growth. The RALF1-FER-GRP7 module provides a paradigm for regulatory mechanisms of RNA splicing in response to external stimuli.

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