A role for brassinosteroids in light-dependent development of Arabidopsis

Science
J LiJoanne Chory

Abstract

Although steroid hormones are important for animal development, the physiological role of plant steroids is unknown. The Arabidopsis DET2 gene encodes a protein that shares significant sequence identity with mammalian steroid 5 alpha-reductases. A mutation of glutamate 204, which is absolutely required for the activity of human steroid reductase, abolishes the in vivo activity of DET2 and leads to defects in light-regulated development that can be ameliorated by application of a plant steroid, brassinolide. Thus, DET2 may encode a reductase in the brassinolide biosynthetic pathway, and brassinosteroids may constitute a distinct class of phytohormones with an important role in light-regulated development of higher plants.

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