A cell-specific, prenylation-independent mechanism regulates targeting of type II RACs

Meirav Lavy, Keren Bracha-Drori, Hasana Sternberg, Shaul Yalovsky

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The RHO proteins, which regulate numerous signaling cascades, undergo prenylation, facilitating their interaction with membranes and with proteins called RHO·GDP dissociation inhibitors. It has been suggested that prenylation is required for RHO function. Eleven RHO-related proteins were identified in Arabidopsis. Eight of them are putatively prenylated. We show that targeting of the remaining three proteins, AtRAC7, AtRAC8, and AtRAC10, is prenylation independent, requires palmitoylation, and occurs by a cell-specific mechanism. AtRAC8 and AtRAC10 could not be prenylated by either farnesyltransferase or geranylgeranyltransferase I, whereas AtRAC7 could be prenylated by both enzymes in yeast. The association of AtRAC7 with the plasma membrane in plants did not require farnesyltransferase or a functional CaaX box. Recombinant AtRAC8 was palmitoylated in vitro, and inhibition of protein palmitoylation relieved the association of all three proteins with the plasma membrane. Interestingly, AtRAC8 and a constitutively active mutant, Atrac7mV15, were not associated with the plasma membrane in root hair cells, whose elongation requires the localization of prenylated RHOs in the plasma membrane at the cell tip. Moreover, Atrac7mV15 did not induce root hair deformation, unlike its prenylated homologs. Thus, AtRAC7, AtRAC8, and AtRAC10 may represent a group of proteins that have evolved to fulfill unique functions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2431-2450
Number of pages20
JournalPlant Cell
Issue number10
StatePublished - 1 Oct 2002


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