Optimizing rice grain size by attenuating phosphorylation-triggered functional impairment of a chromatin modifier ternary complex

作  者:Shen SY, Ma Y, Bai C, Wang WQ, Zhu RB, Gao Q, Song XJ*
刊物名称:Developmental Cell
卷:  期:  页码:DOI:10.1016/j.devcel.2023.12.013


Histone acetylation affects numerous cellular processes, such as gene transcription, in both plants and animals. However, the posttranslational modification-participated regulatory networks for crop-yield-related traits are largely unexplored. Here, we characterize a regulatory axis for controlling rice grain size and yield, centered on a potent histone acetyltransferase (chromatin modifier) known as HHC4. HHC4 interacts with and forms a ternary complex with adaptor protein ADA2 and transcription factor bZIP23, wherein bZIP23 recruits HHC4 to specific promoters, and ADA2 and HHC4 additively enhance bZIP23 transactivation on target genes. Meanwhile, HHC4 interacts with and is phosphorylated by GSK3-like kinase TGW3. The resultant phosphorylation triggers several functional impairments of the HHC4 ternary complex. In addition, we identify two major phosphorylation sites of HHC4 by TGW3—sites which play an important role in controlling rice grain size. Overall, our findings thus have critical implications for understanding epigenetic basis of grain size control and manipulating the knowledge for higher crop productivity.