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CLAVATA3 mediated simultaneous control of transcriptional and post-translational processes provides robustness to the WUSCHEL gradient


Regulation of the homeodomain transcription factor WUSCHEL concentration is critical for stem cell homeostasis in Arabidopsis shoot apical meristems. WUSCHEL regulates the transcription of CLAVATA3 through a concentration-dependent activation-repression switch. CLAVATA3, a secreted peptide, activates receptor kinase signaling to repress WUSCHEL transcription. Considering the revised regulation, CLAVATA3 mediated repression of WUSCHEL transcription alone will lead to an unstable system. Here we show that CLAVATA3 signaling regulates nuclear-cytoplasmic partitioning of WUSCHEL to control nuclear levels and its diffusion into adjacent cells. Our work also reveals that WUSCHEL directly interacts with EXPORTINS via EAR-like domain which is also required for destabilizing WUSCHEL in the cytoplasm. We develop a combined experimental and computational modeling approach that integrates CLAVATA3-mediated transcriptional repression of WUSCHEL and post-translational control of nuclear levels with the WUSCHEL concentration-dependent regulation of CLAVATA3. We show that the dual control by the same signal forms a seamless connection between de novo WUSCHEL synthesis and sub-cellular partitioning in providing robustness to the WUSCHEL gradient.

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