A chloroplast retrograde signal regulates nuclear alternative splicing

Ezequiel Petrillo, Micaela A. Godoy Herz, Armin Fuchs, Dominik Reifer, John Fuller, Marcelo J. Yanovsky, Craig Simpson, John W S Brown, Andrea Barta, Maria Kalyna, Alberto R. Kornblihtt (Lead / Corresponding author)

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

157 Citations (Scopus)


Light is a source of energy and also a regulator of plant physiological adaptations. We show here that light/dark conditions affect alternative splicing of a subset of Arabidopsis genes preferentially encoding proteins involved in RNA processing. The effect requires functional chloroplasts and is also observed in roots when the communication with the photosynthetic tissues is not interrupted, suggesting that a signaling molecule travels through the plant. Using photosynthetic electron transfer inhibitors with different mechanisms of action, we deduce that the reduced pool of plastoquinones initiates a chloroplast retrograde signaling that regulates nuclear alternative splicing and is necessary for proper plant responses to varying light conditions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)427-30
Number of pages4
Issue number6182
Publication statusPublished - 25 Apr 2014


  • Alternative Splicing
  • Arabidopsis
  • Arabidopsis Proteins
  • Cell Nucleus
  • Chloroplasts
  • Circadian Clocks
  • Dibromothymoquinone
  • Diuron
  • Electron Transport
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Plant
  • Light
  • Models, Biological
  • Oxidation-Reduction
  • Photosynthesis
  • Plant Leaves
  • Plant Roots
  • Plants, Genetically Modified
  • Plastoquinone
  • RNA Stability
  • RNA, Messenger
  • RNA, Plant
  • Seedling
  • Signal Transduction


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