The plant hormone auxin, in particular indole-3-acetic acid (IAA), is a key regulator of virtually every aspect of plant growth and development. Auxin regulates transcription by rapidly modulating levels of Aux/IAA proteins throughout development. Recent studies demonstrate that auxin perception occurs through a novel mechanism. Auxin binds to TIR1, the F-box subunit of the ubiquitin ligase complex SCFTIR1, and stabilizes the interaction between TIR1 and Aux/IAA substrates. This interaction results in Aux/IAA ubiquitination and subsequent degradation. Regulation of the Aux/IAA protein family by TIR1 and TIR1-like auxin receptors (AFBs) links auxin action to transcriptional regulation and provides a model by which the vast array of auxin influences on development may be understood. Moreover, auxin receptor function is the first example of small-molecule regulation of an SCF ubiquitin ligase and may have important implications for studies of regulated protein degradation in other species, including animals.


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  • Article Type: Review Article
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