The histone H3K4 demethylase JMJ16 represses leaf senescence in arabidopsis

Peng Liu, Shuaibin Zhang, Bing Zhou, Xi Luo, Xiao Feng Zhou, Bin Cai, Yin Hua Jin, De Niu, Jinxing Lin, Xiaofeng Cao, Jing Bo Jin*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

76 Scopus citations


Leaf senescence is governed by a complex regulatory network involving the dynamic reprogramming of gene expression. Age-dependent induction of senescence-associated genes (SAGs) is associated with increased levels of trimethylation of histone H3 at Lys4 (H3K4me3), but the regulatory mechanism remains elusive. Here, we found that JMJ16, an Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana) JmjC-domain containing protein, is a specific H3K4 demethylase that negatively regulates leaf senescence through its enzymatic activity. Genome-wide analysis revealed a widespread coordinated upregulation of gene expression and hypermethylation of H3K4me3 at JMJ16 binding genes associated with leaf senescence in the loss-offunction jmj16 mutant as compared with the wild type. Genetic analysis indicated that JMJ16 negatively regulates leaf senescence, at least partly through repressing the expression of positive regulators of leaf senescence, WRKY53 and SAG201. JMJ16 associates with WRKY53 and SAG201 and represses their precocious expression in mature leaves by reducing H3K4me3 levels at these loci. The protein abundance of JMJ16 gradually decreases during aging, which is correlated with increased H3K4me3 levels at WRKY53 and SAG201, suggesting that the age-dependent downregulation of JMJ16 is required for the precise transcriptional activation of SAGs during leaf senescence. Thus, JMJ16 is an important regulator of leaf senescence that demethylates H3K4 at SAGs in an age-dependent manner.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)430-443
Number of pages14
JournalPlant Cell
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2019

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (grants 31788103 and 91540203 to X.C., and grant 31471363 to J.B.J.), the Strategic Priority Research Program of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (grant XDB27030201 to X.C.), the Key Research Program of Frontier Sciences, Chinese Academy of Sciences (grant QYZDY-SSW-SMC022 to X.C.), and the Chinese Academy of Sciences (The Innovative Academy of Seed Design to X.C. and J.B.J.). We thank Dr. Ulrike Zentgraf for the wrky53 (SALK_034157) seeds.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019 ASPB.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Plant Science


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