Research ArticlePLANT SCIENCES

DEAD-box helicases modulate dicing body formation in Arabidopsis

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Science Advances  28 Apr 2021:
Vol. 7, no. 18, eabc6266
DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.abc6266


Eukaryotic cells contain numerous membraneless organelles that are made from liquid droplets of proteins and nucleic acids and that provide spatiotemporal control of various cellular processes. However, the molecular mechanisms underlying the formation and rapid stress-induced alterations of these organelles are relatively uncharacterized. Here, we investigated the roles of DEAD-box helicases in the formation and alteration of membraneless nuclear dicing bodies (D-bodies) in Arabidopsis thaliana. We uncovered that RNA helicase 6 (RH6), RH8, and RH12 are previously unidentified D-body components. These helicases interact with and promote the phase separation of SERRATE, a key component of D-bodies, and drive the formation of D-bodies through liquid-liquid phase separations (LLPSs). The accumulation of these helicases in the nuclei decreases upon Turnip mosaic virus infections, which couples with the decrease of D-bodies. Our results thus reveal the key roles of RH6, RH8, and RH12 in modulating D-body formation via LLPSs.

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