Ufmylation reconciles salt stress-induced unfolded protein responses via ER-phagy in Arabidopsis

Baiying Li*, Fangfang Niu, Yonglun Zeng, Man Kei Tse, Cesi Deng, Liu Hong, Shengyu Gao, Sze Wan Lo, Wenhan Cao, Shuxian Huang, Yasin Dagdas, Liwen Jiang*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


In plants, the endomembrane system is tightly regulated in response to environmental stresses for maintaining cellular homeostasis. Autophagosomes, the double membrane organelles forming upon nutrient deprivation or stress induction, degrade bulky cytosolic materials for nutrient turnover. Though abiotic stresses have been reported to induce plant autophagy, few receptors or regulators for selective autophagy have been characterized for specific stresses. Here, we have applied immunoprecipitation followed by tandem mass spectrometry using the autophagosome marker protein ATG8 as bait and have identified the E3 ligase of the ufmylation system Ufl1 as a bona fide ATG8 interactor under salt stress. Notably, core components in the ufmylation cascade, Ufl1 and Ufm1, interact with the autophagy kinase complexes proteins ATG1 and ATG6. Cellular and genetic analysis showed that Ufl1 is important for endoplasmic reticulum (ER)-phagy under persisting salt stress. Loss-of-function mutants of Ufl1 display a salt stress hypersensitive phenotype and abnormal ER morphology. Prolonged ER stress responses are detected in ufl1 mutants that phenocopy the autophagy dysfunction atg5 mutants. Consistently, expression of ufmylation cascade components is up-regulated by salt stress. Taken together, our study demonstrates the role of ufmylation in regulating ER homeostasis under salt stress through ER-phagy.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere2208351120
Number of pages12
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 31 Jan 2023

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