Noncanonical Translation Initiation of the Arabidopsis Flowering Time and Alternative Polyadenylation Regulator FCA

Gordon G. Simpson (Lead / Corresponding author), Rebecca E. Laurie, Paul P. Dijkwel, Victor Quesada, Peter A. Stockwell, Caroline Dean, Richard C. Macknight (Lead / Corresponding author)

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    30 Citations (Scopus)


    The RNA binding protein FCA regulates the floral transition and is required for silencing RNAs corresponding to specific noncoding sequences in the Arabidopsis thaliana genome. Through interaction with the canonical RNA 39 processing machinery, FCA affects alternative polyadenylation of many transcripts, including antisense RNAs at the locus encoding the floral repressor FLC. This potential for widespread alteration of gene regulation clearly needs to be tightly regulated, and we have previously shown that FCA expression is autoregulated through poly(A) site choice. Here, we show distinct layers of FCA regulation that involve sequences within the 59 region that regulate noncanonical translation initiation and alter the expression profile. FCA translation in vivo occurs exclusively at a noncanonical CUG codon upstream of the first in-frame AUG. We fully define the upstream flanking sequences essential for its selection, revealing features that distinguish this from other non-AUG start site mechanisms. Bioinformatic analysis identified 10 additional Arabidopsis genes that likely initiate translation at a CUG codon. Our findings reveal further unexpected complexity in the regulation of FCA expression with implications for its roles in regulating flowering time and gene expression and more generally show plant mRNA exceptions to AUG translation initiation.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)3764-3777
    Number of pages14
    JournalThe Plant Cell
    Issue number11
    Publication statusPublished - Nov 2010


    Dive into the research topics of 'Noncanonical Translation Initiation of the Arabidopsis Flowering Time and Alternative Polyadenylation Regulator FCA'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this