ABSTRACT: Previous studies have demonstrated that Arabidopsis thaliana BBX32 (AtBBX32) represses light signaling in A. thaliana and that expression of AtBBX32 in soybean increases grain yield in multiple locations and multiyear field trials. The BBX32 protein is a member of the B-box zinc finger family from A. thaliana and contains a single conserved Zn(2+)-binding B-box domain at the N terminus. Although the B-box domain is predicted to be involved in protein-protein interactions, the mechanism of interaction is poorly understood. Here, we provide in vitro and in vivo evidence demonstrating the physical and functional interactions of AtBBX32 with another B-box protein, soybean BBX62 (GmBBX62). Deletion analysis and characterization of the purified B-box domain indicate that the N-terminal B-box region of AtBBX32 interacts with GmBBX62. Computational modeling and site-directed mutagenesis of the AtBBX32 B-box region identified specific residues as critical for mediating the interaction between AtBBX32 and GmBBX62. This study defines the plant B-box as a protein interaction domain and offers novel insight into its role in mediating specific protein-protein interactions between different plant B-box proteins.
Journal of Biological Chemistry 07/2012; 287(37):31482-93. · 4.77 Impact Factor