Actin-bundling Arabidopsis LIM proteins are subdivided into two subfamilies differing in their pH sensitivity. Widely-expressed WLIMs are active under low and high physiologically-relevant pH conditions, whereas pollen-enriched PLIMs are inactivated by pH values above 6.8. By a domain swapping approach we identified the C-terminal (Ct) domain of PLIMs as the domain responsible for pH responsiveness. Remarkably, this domain conferred pH sensitivity to LIM proteins, when provided "in trans" (i.e., as a single, independent, peptide), indicating that it operates through the interaction with another domain. An acidic 6xc-Myc peptide functionally mimicked the Ct domain of PLIMs and efficiently inhibited LIM actin bundling activity under high pH conditions. Together, our data suggest a model where PLIMs are regulated by an intermolecular interaction between their acidic Ct domain and another, yet unidentified, domain.
- LIM domain
- pH responsiveness