Wortmannin-induced vacuole fusion enhances amyloplast dynamics in Arabidopsis zigzag1 hypocotyls

Gravitropism in Arabidopsis shoots depends on the sedimentation of amyloplasts in the endodermis, and a complex interplay between the vacuole and F-actin. Gravity response is inhibited in zigzag-1 (zig-1), a mutant allele of VTI11, which encodes a SNARE protein involved in vacuole fusion. zig-1 seedlings have fragmented vacuoles that fuse after treatment with wortmannin, an inhibitor of phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase, and underscore a role of phosphoinositides in vacuole fusion. Using live-cell imaging with a vertical stage microscope, we determined that young endodermal cells below the apical hook that are smaller than 70 μm in length are the graviperceptive cells in dark-grown hypocotyls. This result was confirmed by local wortmannin application to the top of zig-1 hypocotyls, which enhanced shoot gravitropism in zig-1 mutants. Live-cell imaging of zig-1 hypocotyl endodermal cells indicated that amyloplasts are trapped between juxtaposed vacuoles and their movement is severely restricted. Wortmannin-induced fusion of vacuoles in zig-1 seedlings increased the formation of transvacuolar strands, enhanced amyloplast sedimentation and partially suppressed the agravitropic phenotype of zig-1 seedlings. Hypergravity conditions at 10 g were not sufficient to displace amyloplasts in zig-1, suggesting the existence of a physical tether between the vacuole and amyloplasts. Our results overall suggest that vacuole membrane remodeling may be involved in regulating the association of vacuoles and amyloplasts during graviperception.

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S2758 Wortmannin (KY 12420) Wortmannin (KY 12420, SL-2052, BRN 0067676, NSC 627609) is the first described PI3K inhibitor with IC50 of 3 nM in a cell-free assay, with little selectivity within the PI3K family. Wortmannin blocks autophagosome formation and potently inhibits DNA-PK/ATM with IC50 of 16 nM and 150 nM in cell-free assays. Wortmannin also inhibits PLK1 activity.

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