OsUEV1B, an Ubc enzyme variant protein, is required for phosphate homeostasis in rice

Jianping Liu, Wencheng Liao, Bo Nie, Jianhua Zhang, Weifeng Xu*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


Phosphorus is a crucial macronutrient for plant growth and development. The mechanisms for maintaining inorganic phosphate (Pi) homeostasis in rice are not well understood. The ubiquitin-conjugating enzyme variant protein OsUEV1B was previously found to interact with OsUbc13 and mediate lysine63-linked polyubiquitination. In the present study, we found OsUEV1B was specifically inhibited by Pi deficiency, and was localized in the nucleus and cytoplasm. Both osuev1b mutant and OsUEV1B-RNA interference (RNAi) lines displayed serious symptoms of toxicity due to Pi overaccumulation. Some Pi starvation inducible and phosphate transporter genes were upregulated in osuev1b mutant and OsUEV1B-RNAi plants in association with enhanced Pi acquisition, and representative Pi starvation responses, including stimulation of acid phosphatase activity and root hair growth, were also activated in the presence of sufficient Pi. A yeast two-hybrid screen revealed an interaction between OsUEV1B and OsVDAC1, which was confirmed by bimolecular fluorescence complementation and firefly split-luciferase complementation assays. OsVDAC1 encoded a voltage-dependent anion channel protein localized in the mitochondria, and OsUbc13 was shown to interact with OsVDAC1 via yeast two-hybrid and bimolecular fluorescence complementation assays. Under sufficient Pi conditions, similar to osuev1b, a mutation in OsVDAC1 resulted in significantly greater Pi concentrations in the roots and second leaves, improved acid phosphatase activity, and enhanced expression of the Pi starvation inducible and phosphate transporter genes compared with wild-type DongJin, whereas overexpression of OsVDAC1 had the opposite effects. OsUEV1B or OsVDAC1 knockout reduced the mitochondrial membrane potential and adenosine triphosphate levels. Moreover, overexpression of OsVDAC1 in osuev1b partially restored its high Pi concentration to a level between those of osuev1b and DongJin. Our results indicate that OsUEV1B is required for rice phosphate homeostasis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)706-719
Number of pages14
JournalThe Plant Journal
Issue number3
Early online date11 Feb 2021
Publication statusPublished - May 2021

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Genetics
  • Plant Science
  • Cell Biology

User-Defined Keywords

  • lysine63-linked polyubiquitination
  • Oryza sativa
  • OsUEV1B
  • OsVDAC1
  • phosphate homeostasis
  • protein–protein interaction


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