Arabidopsis JASMONATE-INDUCED OXYGENASES down-regulate plant immunity by hydroxylation and inactivation of the hormone jasmonic acid

Lotte Caarls, Joyce Elberse, Mo Awwanah, Nora R. Ludwig, Michel De Vries, Tieme Zeilmaker, Saskia C.M. Van Wees, Robert C. Schuurink, Guido Van Den Ackerveken*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

89 Citations (Scopus)


The phytohormone jasmonic acid (JA) is vital in plant defense and development. Although biosynthesis of JA and activation of JA-responsive gene expression by the bioactive form JA-isoleucine have been well-studied, knowledge on JA metabolism is incomplete. In particular, the enzyme that hydroxylates JA to 12-OH-JA, an inactive form of JA that accumulates after wounding and pathogen attack, is unknown. Here, we report the identification of four paralogous 2-oxoglutarate/Fe(II)–dependent oxygenases in Arabidopsis thaliana as JA hydroxylases and show that they down-regulate JA-dependent responses. Because they are induced by JA we named them JASMONATE-INDUCED OXYGENASES (JOXs). Concurrent mutation of the four genes in a quadruple Arabidopsis mutant resulted in increased defense gene expression and increased resistance to the necrotrophic fungus Botrytis cinerea and the caterpillar Mamestra brassicae. In addition, root and shoot growth of the plants was inhibited. Metabolite analysis of leaves showed that loss of function of the four JOX enzymes resulted in overaccumulation of JA and in reduced turnover of JA into 12-OH-JA. Transformation of the quadruple mutant with each JOX gene strongly reduced JA levels, demonstrating that all four JOXs inactivate JA in plants. The in vitro catalysis of 12-OH-JA from JA by recombinant enzyme could be confirmed for three JOXs. The identification of the enzymes responsible for hydroxylation of JA reveals a missing step in JA metabolism, which is important for the inactivation of the hormone and subsequent down-regulation of JA-dependent defenses.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)6388-6393
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number24
Publication statusPublished - 13 Jun 2017


  • 12-oh-ja
  • 2og oxygenases
  • Jasmonic acid
  • Plant defense


Dive into the research topics of 'Arabidopsis JASMONATE-INDUCED OXYGENASES down-regulate plant immunity by hydroxylation and inactivation of the hormone jasmonic acid'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this