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The developmental plasticity of leaf size and shape is important for leaf function and plant survival. However, the mechanisms by which plants form diverse leaves in response to environmental conditions are not well understood. Here, we identified TIE1-ASSOCIATED RING-TYPE E3 LIGASE1 (TEAR1) and found that it regulates leaf development by promoting the degradation of TCP INTERACTOR-CONTAINING EAR MOTIF PROTEIN1 (TIE1), an important repressor of CINCINNATA (CIN)-like TEOSINTE BRANCHED1/CYCLOIDEA/PCF (TCP) transcription factors, which are key for leaf development. TEAR1 contains a typical C3H2C3-type RING domain and has E3 ligase activity. We show that TEAR1 interacts with the TCP repressor TIE1, which is ubiquitinated in vivo and degraded by the 26S proteasome system. We demonstrate that TEAR1 is colocalized with TIE1 in nuclei and negatively regulates TIE1 protein levels. Overexpression of TEAR1 rescued leaf defects caused by TIE1 overexpression, whereas disruption of TEAR1 resulted in leaf phenotypes resembling those caused by TIE1 overexpression or TCP dysfunction. Deficiency in TEAR partially rescued the leaf defects of TCP4 overexpression line and enhanced the wavy leaf phenotypes of jaw-5D We propose that TEAR1 positively regulates CIN-like TCP activity to promote leaf development by mediating the degradation of the TCP repressor TIE1.

Original publication




Journal article


Plant Cell

Publication Date





243 - 259


Arabidopsis, Arabidopsis Proteins, Cloning, Molecular, Gene Expression Regulation, Plant, Meristem, Models, Genetic, Plant Leaves, Repressor Proteins, Ubiquitin-Protein Ligases