The rapidly proliferating cells in plant meristems must be protected from genome damage. Here, we show that the regulatory role of the Arabidopsis RETINOBLASTOMA RELATED (RBR) in cell proliferation can be separated from a novel function in safeguarding genome integrity. Upon DNA damage, RBR and its binding partner E2FA are recruited to heterochromatic γH2AX-labelled DNA damage foci in an ATM- and ATR-dependent manner. These γH2AX-labelled DNA lesions are more dispersedly occupied by the conserved repair protein, AtBRCA1, which can also co-localise with RBR foci. RBR and AtBRCA1 physically interact in vitro and in planta. Genetic interaction between the RBR-silenced amiRBR and Atbrca1 mutants suggests that RBR and AtBRCA1 may function together in maintaining genome integrity. Together with E2FA, RBR is directly involved in the transcriptional DNA damage response as well as in the cell death pathway that is independent of SOG1, the plant functional analogue of p53. Thus, plant homologs and analogues of major mammalian tumour suppressor proteins form a regulatory network that coordinates cell proliferation with cell and genome integrity.
- RETINOBLASTOMA RELATED
- DNA damage response