17 October 2022

Intracellular infection by symbiotic bacteria requires the mitotic kinase AURORA1

Gao JP, Jiang S, Su Y, Xu P, Wang J, Liang W, Liu CW, Murray JD. - PNAS, 2022


The subcellular events occurring in cells of legume plants as they form transcellular symbiotic-infection structures have been compared with those occurring in premitotic cells. Here, we demonstrate that Aurora kinase 1 (AUR1), a highly conserved mitotic regulator, is required for intracellular infection by rhizobia in Medicago truncatula. AUR1 interacts with microtubule-associated proteins of the TPXL and MAP65 families, which, respectively, activate and are phosphorylated by AUR1, and localizes with them within preinfection structures. MYB3R1, a rhizobia-induced mitotic transcription factor, directly regulates AUR1 through two closely spaced, mitosis-specific activator cis elements. Our data are consistent with a model in which the MYB3R1-AUR1 regulatory module serves to properly orient preinfection structures to direct the transcellular deposition of cell wall material for the growing infection thread, analogous to its role in cell plate formation. Our findings indicate that the eukaryotically conserved MYB3R1-TPXL-AUR1-MAP65 mitotic module was conscripted to support endosymbiotic infection in legumes.

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