Poly(ADP-ribosyl)ation (PARylation) is a reversible post-translational protein modification that has profound regulatory functions in metabolism, development and immunity, and is conserved throughout the eukaryotic lineage. Contrary to metazoa, many components and mechanistic details of PARylation have remained unidentified in plants. Here we present the transcriptional co-regulator RADICAL-INDUCED CELL DEATH1 (RCD1) as a plant PAR-reader. RCD1 is a multidomain protein with intrinsically disordered regions (IDRs) separating its domains. We have reported earlier that RCD1 regulates plant development and stress-tolerance by interacting with numerous transcription factors (TFs) through its C-terminal RST domain. This study suggests that the N-terminal WWE and PARP-like domains, as well as the connecting IDR play an important regulatory role for RCD1 function. We show that RCD1 binds PAR in vitro via its WWE domain and that PAR-binding determines RCD1 localization to nuclear bodies (NBs) in vivo. Additionally, we found that RCD1 function and stability is controlled by Photoregulatory Protein Kinases (PPKs). PPKs localize with RCD1 in NBs and phosphorylate RCD1 at multiple sites affecting its stability. This work proposes a mechanism for negative transcriptional regulation in plants, in which RCD1 localizes to NBs, binds TFs with its RST domain and is degraded after phosphorylation by PPKs.
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